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Region 2 News Release: 12-1093-NEW/BOS 2012-106
June 12, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2075


US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Zoto's International for
chemical, electrical and mechanical hazards at Geneva, NY, plant
Hair care products manufacturer faces $233,000 in fines

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Zoto's International Inc. with 44 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at the company's Geneva manufacturing plant. The maker of hair care products faces a total of $233,000 in fines for a cross-section of chemical, mechanical and electrical hazards following an inspection by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office.

"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose workers to the dangers of electrocution, lacerations, amputation, fire and hazardous chemicals, as well as being unable to exit the workplace safely in the event of an emergency," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "The sizable fines proposed here reflect the breadth and seriousness of the hazards identified during our inspections. These conditions must be effectively corrected for the safety and health of the workers."

OSHA found numerous instances of unguarded moving machine parts, including saws, pulleys, ingoing nip points, pinch points and rotating parts. Electrical hazards encompassed unguarded live parts, electrical wiring that did not conform to a Class 1/Division 1 location, allowing unqualified employees to work on live electrical parts, failing to develop and follow safety-related work practices related to energized parts, and failing to provide training to employees. Other safety hazards include a blocked exit door, flammable liquids used where ignition sources were present, blocked fire extinguishers, storage racks with damaged vertical supports, blocked aisles, fall and tripping hazards, and a lack of "lockout/tagout" procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance.

The inspection also identified several deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program, which is designed to prevent the unintended release of large quantities of hazardous chemicals. In this case, the chemical is ethyl alcohol, a flammable liquid used in a blending process. Deficiencies include an incomplete process hazard analysis; inaccurate diagrams of the process; a lack of compliance audits; no written operating procedures for the start up, operations shut down and emergency shut down for the system; and failing to correct deficiencies in the process equipment.

Health hazards include employee overexposure to methylene chloride, a lack of controls to reduce methylene chloride exposure levels, the use of an inappropriate respirator, failing to train workers on the hazards of metyhlene chloride and other chemicals, and failing to label containers of hazardous chemicals.

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 citations can be viewed at*,* and*.

"One means by which employers can prevent widespread hazards is to establish an effective illness and injury prevention in which they work with their employees to identify and prevent hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional director in New York.

Zoto's International 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.

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 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


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.

* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.