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Region 1 News Release: 11-1093-BOS/BOS 2011-274
Aug. 1, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


US Labor Department's OSHA cites North Kingstown, RI, rigging
manufacturer for 18 serious safety violations following worker's death

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Composite Rigging Ltd. and Co., a manufacturer of carbon fiber sailboat rigging, for 18 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards following the March 15 death of a worker at its North Kingstown facility.

Two employees were performing work on a rigging cable that had been placed in a test bed and tensioned. During this procedure, a sling holding the cable in place failed, causing the cable to shoot across the room and strike the two workers, one fatally. OSHA found that the test bed guards were not utilized to prevent employees from being struck by the cable.

"Proper guarding would have kept these workers from being struck," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's Rhode Island area director. "I call upon Rhode Island employers using similar equipment to examine it, and if necessary, take preventive measures so that similar incidents with tragic consequences do not happen again."

OSHA's inspection also identified several other hazardous conditions at the facility that were unrelated to the accident. These included unguarded or inadequately guarded grinders, lathes and fans; misused electrical equipment; a powered industrial truck modified without the manufacturer's approval; lack of daily examinations of a powered industrial truck for defects; no suitable quick-drenching facilities for employees working with corrosive materials; lack of a written respiratory protection program; not conducting a hazard assessment of the workplace; inadequate precautions against the ignition of flammable vapors; unlabeled containers of chemicals; and an inadequate stair rail. The company faces a total of $54,400 in proposed fines.

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.

The company 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. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Providence Area Office; telephone 401-528-4669. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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

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