US Labor Department's OSHA cites Nucap US Inc. for 17 serious
safety violations at Watertown, Conn., manufacturing plant
Brake system manufacturer faces $55,505 in fines for power press, electrical, other hazards
HARTFORD, Conn. –¿ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Nucap U.S. Inc. for 17 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Watertown manufacturing plant. The manufacturer of motor vehicle brake systems faces $55,505 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA's Hartford Area Office begun in February in response to a complaint.
Inspectors found several hazardous conditions involving mechanical power presses used in the manufacturing process. These included lack of an arming button or other safeguard to prevent unintended operation of a press, lack of an air-pressure switch to ensure prompt stopping of a press operation in the event of a pressure supply power loss, unsecured barrier guards and failure to routinely use die blocks when employees worked on dies in the presses.
"The absence of these safeguards means that employees are vulnerable to crushing and amputation injuries from the unintended operation of a press or from entering a press' point of operation," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Other cited conditions expose workers to the possibility of electrocution, hearing loss, exposure to blood and body fluids and exposure to hazardous chemicals. For the safety and health of its workers, this employer must address all of these hazards effectively and expeditiously."
Additional hazards identified during the inspection include lack of training and personal protective equipment for employees performing maintenance on live electrical equipment; not providing baseline audiograms and annual audiometric testing to employees exposed to excessive noise levels; no written exposure control program for employees acting as first responders; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; improper storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders; improper disposal of combustible materials; unguarded grinding equipment; and failure to annually review the plant's hazardous energy control program.
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. A machine guarding eTool is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/machineguarding/index.html.
Nucap U.S. Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and 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 Hartford Area Office at 860-240-3152.
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.