Region 3 News Release: USDL: III-00-09-21-084-PA
Thurs., Sept. 21, 2000
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: (215) 861-5102
After Hours: (856) 251-0131
OSHA CITES BELLEFONTE, PA COMPANY FOR ALLEGED HEALTH AND SAFETY VIOLATIONS; PROPOSES MORE THAN $150,000 IN PENALTIES
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Cerro Metal Products Company, Bellefonte, Pa. for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, proposing a total of $154,700 in penalties. Cerro is a manufacturer of brass products, employing 650 workers at its Bellefonte site.
OSHA initiated its inspection on March 22, 2000 in response to a complaint. According to Robert Fink, area director of the Harrisburg OSHA office, the company received 10 repeat violations, with a penalty of $110,200; 18 serious violations, with a penalty of $44,500; and five other-than-serious violations, which carry no penalty.
The repeat violations are related to citations initially issued during a Nov. 1997 inspection. They include:
Oxygen and acetylene cylinders were stored together.
Electrical equipment was blocked by materials in storage.
Maintenance materials were left on an overhead crane bridge were not removed before the crane was in operation.
Fixed ladders were slippery and not maintained in a safe condition.
Floor holes were inadequately guarded.
The company's failure to maintain floors in good condition where mechanical handling equipment was used.
The company's failure to maintain dry floors.
The serious violations are due to the company's failure to:
provide communication while crane loads were being attached
mark lifting devices with their rated capacity
inadequately guard floor holes
provide a landing platform at the top of a stairway
provide a free and unobstructed exit
implement an emergency evacuation plan
provide eye and face protection
Other-than-serious violations were issued because the company did not cover floor holes with openings greater than one inch wide, trash receptacles were not emptied on daily basis and acetylene cylinders were stored without caps.
"Each of these new violations compounds an already-hazardous work environment fostered by Cerro management," says Fink. " Total abatement must take place immediately to protect the health and safety of the company's workers."
A serious violation involves a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazzard.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to decide to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the Harrisburg area office, Progress Plaza, 49 Progress Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17109-3596. Telephone: (717) 782-3902.
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