US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Keymark Corp. for failing to protect
workers against chemical, noise and fall hazards at Fonda, New York, plant
Aluminum extruder cited for 11 serious violations
ALBANY, N.Y. – Workers at Keymark Corp.'s aluminum extruding plant on Route 334 in Fonda were exposed to the hazardous substance chromium, high noise levels and falls of up to 17 feet due to the employer's failure to provide and ensure proper safeguards. The company faces $53,000 in fines following OSHA inspections in March 2014 by the Albany Area Office, prompted by a complaint.
"These employees faced both short- and long-term risks to their health and well-being, ranging from potentially fatal falls and hearing loss to cumulative damage to the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes from chromium exposure," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. "Keymark must take prompt and effective action to ensure that these conditions are corrected and do not pose future risk to employees."
OSHA found that employees were exposed to high noise levels and that Keymark did not ensure the use of hearing protectors or train workers in their use and care. Keymark failed to check that personal protective equipment, clothing and respiratory devices were provided, used and maintained in a sanitary condition, and that workers were trained to use them.
Keymark failed to determine workers' exposure levels to chromium and ensure that surfaces were free from chromium accumulation; to ensure proper, clean changing areas for employees' working with chromium; and to ensure that chromium-contaminated clothing was stored and transported in sealed containers. Employees were exposed to 17-foot falls into a work pit that lacked a guardrail and to being caught in or injured by unintended machinery start-up. Procedures and training for turning off machine power sources before maintenance and servicing were lacking.
Because of these conditions, OSHA cited Keystone Corp. for 11 serious violations. 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, request a 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 Albany Area Office at 518-464-4338.
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.
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