The Gilman Brothers Co. faces more than $105,000 in US Labor Department
OSHA fines for safety hazards at Connecticut manufacturing plant
HARTFORD, Conn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited The Gilman Brothers Co. for willful, repeat and serious safety violations at the company's facility in Gilman. The manufacturer of polystyrene foam core board faces a total of $105,490 in proposed penalties following two inspections by OSHA's Hartford Area Office.
The first inspection, begun on May 31, identified several deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program involving the chemical isopentane, a flammable liquid used in the manufacturing process.
"OSHA's process safety management standard is for employers to address hazardous conditions associated with a process to prevent a catastrophic incident," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Full and effective adherence to the standard's requirements is critical to guarding the safety and health of workers at this work site."
OSHA found that the company did not inspect or test process equipment, including the isopentane tank, piping and pressure relief valves. This resulted in the issuance of one willful citation, with a $53,900 fine. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
One repeat citation, with a fine of $10,780, was issued for a lack of written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of process equipment. 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 similar hazard was cited in 2009.
Six serious citations, with $26,180 in fines, were issued for incomplete process safety information, hazard analyses and documentation, and for lack of readily available fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher training. 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 second inspection opened Sept. 4 following an incident in which a forklift operator struck and injured a pedestrian in a company warehouse. The company failed to ensure forklift operators look in the direction of travel, maintain a clear view of the travel path and slow down and sound their horns at cross aisles. Forklifts were not properly marked to identify attachments and their lifting capacity and were not examined for defects after each shift. Additionally, aisles and passageways were not kept clear and in good repair. These conditions resulted in the issuance of four serious citations with $14,630 in fines.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GilmanBrothersCompany_909370_1127_13.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GilmanBrothersCompany_936863_1127_13.pdf*.
Detailed information on OSHA's process safety management standard is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html, while information on forklift safety is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/index.html.
The Gilman Brothers Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings 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 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.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.