Region 2 News Release: NY 192
September 21, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
PALMYRA, NEW YORK, BOX MANUFACTURER CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING LOSS OF WORKER'S FINGERS; $47,950 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Paul T. Freund Corporation, of 216 Park Drive, Palmyra, New York, and proposed penalties of $47,950 against the firm for one alleged willful, seven alleged serious, and three alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until October 11 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane Brayden, the action results from an investigation conducted from April 19 to September 1 following an accident at the plant, in which an employee had his fingers amputated in a machine. The plant, which employs about 110 workers, manufactures specialty cardboard boxes.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's machine-guarding standard by failing to guard the point of operation on a box-cutting machine. The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $38,500.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
failure to ensure that employees follow lockout-tagout procedures designed to prevent the accidental startup of machines during servicing or repair;
failure to equip woodworking machinery with devices that would prevent an accidental re-start when power is restored following a power loss;
failure to provide a guard on a radial arm saw and ensure that its cutting head, when released, returns to the start position;
failure to guard exposed parts of rotating shafts;
failure to cover openings in electrical power panels;
failure to keep exit doors free of obstructions;
failure to store gasoline in an approved safety container and allowing the storage of gasoline containers in exit stairwell.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $9,450.
The firm was also cited for failure to provide a handrail on stairway, failure to determine the floorload for a second-floor machine shop and post the information, and failure to reduce pressure in a compressed air hose used for cleaning to under 30 psi, three alleged other-than-serious violations.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse area office, located at 3300 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York, telephone (315) 451-0808.