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Feb. 22, 2016 BOS 2016-023

Employees at Tecnofil Chenango SAC again exposed to hazards
from unguarded machines at Sherburne plant
Wire manufacturer faces $124K in OSHA fines for willful, repeated, serious safety hazards

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Copper wire manufacturer Tecnofil Chenango SAC continues to expose workers at its Sherburne manufacturing plant to potential deadly or disabling injuries due to missing or inadequate safeguards for machines used in the manufacturing process, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found.

OSHA cited the plant in 2013 for several hazards involving unguarded or inadequately guarded operating parts of machines. The latest inspection found numerous instances of new and recurring machine guarding hazards on die presses, saws, lathes and other machinery. Hazards included bypassing interlocks designed to stop machines from operating when their doors opened. A related hazard stemmed from not locking out machines' power sources before changing dies or performing maintenance and not adequately training employees to do so.

"The breadth and recurring nature of these hazards is disturbing. The purpose of machine guarding is simple: to prevent any part of an employee's body from coming in contact with a machine's moving parts. This can result in such serious or fatal injuries as crushing, lacerations and amputations. Tecnofil Chenango must take prompt, effective and ongoing action to eliminate these hazards once and for all," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's Syracuse area director.

The latest inspection also found workers exposed to falls of up to 8 feet from unguarded work platforms, slipping and tripping hazards from floors littered with tools, machine parts, lubricants and coolants and electric shocks from ungrounded equipment.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Tecnofil Chenango on Feb. 11, 2016, for one willful, seven repeated and nine serious violations. Proposed fines total $124,740. 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 citations can be viewed here*.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Syracuse office at 315-451-0808

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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Media Contacts:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075,

Release Number: 16-348-NEW

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