Recurring hazards by Cheshire, Conn., manufacturer of print reproductions
results in US Labor Department OSHA citations
Artbeats Inc. faces $56,430 in proposed penalties
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Artbeats Inc. for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Cheshire facility. The company, which manufactures reproductions of prints and paintings, faces $56,430 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office begun Dec. 3, 2013, in response to a worker complaint.
Inspectors found several hazards similar to those cited in June 2010 at the company's Waterbury facility. These hazards include failing to provide a program to ensure workers are trained to power down and lockout industrial saws prior to conducting maintenance; provide a chemical hazard communication program and training on the risks and safeguards associated with chemicals, such as paints and gels; and prevent usage of unapproved electrical equipment in areas that generate and accumulate combustible wood dust.
"Left uncorrected or allowed to recur, these conditions expose employees to hazardous chemicals, fire, and lacerations and amputation by activated machinery," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "An employer must ensure hazards are consistently and effectively addressed to provide employees a safe and healthful work environment."
The conditions resulted in the issuance of eight repeat citations, with $53,460 in proposed fines. Additionally, one serious citation, with a fine of $2,970, was issued for an inadequately guarded radial arm saw.
A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any of its facilities in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Artbeats Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Bridgeport Area Office at 203-579-5581.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.