Safety hazards at Salisbury, Mass., manufacturer lead to $93,200 in US
Department of Labor OSHA fines
Andover Healthcare Inc. cited for repeat and serious violations
ANDOVER, Mass. – Workers at a Salisbury manufacturing plant were at risk of being caught in machinery or crushed, based on findings in an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Andover Healthcare Inc., a maker of coated fabrics and adhesives for the health care industry, faces $93,200 in proposed fines for two repeat and seven serious violations.
OSHA's Andover Area Office began its inspection on Jan. 9. The inspection discovered that the company inadequately trained employees to implement lockout/tagout* procedures that protected workers who serviced or maintained dangerous machines. OSHA cited Andover Healthcare for similar hazards after a 2010 inspection and the company received two repeat violations for these recurring hazards, with $65,000 in fines.
"It's vital that employers develop and implement adequate lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance," said Jeffery Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "Failure to do so places employees at risk of being caught in or crushed by machinery if it turns on during service or maintenance."
OSHA found workers exposed to struck-by and crushing hazards from damaged or insecurely anchored steel storage racks and an unmarked crane lift. Additional hazards included unguarded machinery, a defective power cord and obstructed exit access. These conditions resulted in citations for seven serious violations, with $26,200 in fines. Finally, the company was cited for two other-than-serious violations, with $2,000 in fines, for failure to record* injuries properly, which resulted in medical treatment or lost workdays.
OSHA conducted the inspection under its Site-Specific Targeting Program*, which focuses on facilities with a higher than average illness and injury rate. An interactive lockout/tagout training program, including a tutorial and interactive case studies, is available at http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/lototraining/index.html. To see information on OSHA's record-keeping requirements and procedures, visit http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html.
Andover Healthcare has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility 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. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
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 Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.
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 department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
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