Region 2 News Release: NY 220
December 7, 1999
Contact: Clyde Payne
NASSAU, NEW YORK COATING MANUFACTURER CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND OTHER HEALTH VIOLATIONS: $114,500 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Copeland Coating Company, Inc., of 3600 State Route 20, Nassau, New York, and proposed penalties of $114,500 against the firm, for three alleged wilful and eight alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until December 29 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director John Tomich, the action results from an inspection of the facility conducted from June 7 through November 30, in accordance with OSHA's special emphasis program for silicosis exposure.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully failed to protect its employees from silica exposure by:
- not implementing an effective respiratory protection program.
- not providing employees with the necessary respiratory protection training.
- not implementing an effective hazard communication program and not providing employees with required training about the health hazards of silica.
The alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $105,000.
"Inhaling airborne silica can lead to silicosis, a disabling, nonreversible, and sometimes fatal lung disease", Tomich explained. "For that reason, OSHA has launched a national special emphasis program, focusing on the particular dangers associated with working with silica", Tomich said. "It is our responsibility to protect to the best of our ability the estimated two million workers in the U. S. who are exposed to crystalline silica each year."
OSHA also cited the company for the following alleged serious violations:
- not developing or implementing a written confined space entry permit program and not preparing entry permits for employees required to enter confined spaces.
- not providing training for employees on confined space entry permits.
- not documenting or using proper energy control procedures.
- not providing required employee training in the use of energy control procedures.
- not properly protecting employees from silica to prevent overexposure, and not using proper engineering or effective respiratory protection controls to limit employee exposure to silica.
- not properly storing compressed gas cylinders away from highly combustible materials.
- not adequately labeling hazardous chemicals, and not maintaining accurate material safety data sheets.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $9,500.
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.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Albany area office, located at 401 New Karner Road, Albany, N. Y. Telephone: (518) 464-6742.
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