Tues., Jan. 13, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Flagg-Palmer Precast Inc. faces nearly $77,000 in fines
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Flagg-Palmer Precast Inc. for 35 alleged repeat, serious and other than serious violations of workplace health and safety standards at its Oxford, Mass., manufacturing plant. The concrete products manufacturer faces a total of $76,900 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection prompted by employee complaints.
"These citations address a variety of hazards that should not exist in this type of workplace," said Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director in Springfield. "The fact that some of these conditions mirror those cited by OSHA in 2006 emphasizes the need for this employer to pursue prompt, continuous and effective corrective action."
OSHA's inspection found instances of bridge cranes with defective components; production and common areas littered with oil tanks, concrete rubble, combustible trash, rubbish and other debris; blocked or obstructed emergency exits; lack of eye, head and foot protection; no eyewash station; a defective forktruck and no forklift training; defective slings; unguarded table saw and grinder; ungrounded or unprotected electrical equipment or wiring; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; and no hazard communication training.
These conditions resulted in the issuance of 25 serious citations, with $43,500 in fines. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company also was issued nine repeat citations, with $32,400 in fines, for hazards similar to those cited in a 2006 OSHA inspection. These citations addressed unguarded open-sided floors; no written confined space hazard program; unmarked confined spaces; no formal written program, hardware and training to instruct employees in shutting down machines' power sources to prevent their unintended startup during maintenance; an ungrounded extension cord; exposed live electrical parts; and no written hazard communication program. Finally, one other than serious citation, with a $1,000 fine, was issued for incomplete or incorrect logging of occupational injuries.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to meet with OSHA or to contest them to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Springfield Area Office; telephone 413-785-0123.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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