US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $69,244 in fines against Plattsburgh,
NY, manufacturer for repeat and serious safety and health violations
Solve Composites LLC previously cited in 2011 for explosion, fire hazards
ALBANY, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Solve Composites LLC, a maker of Fiberglas-reinforced plastic panels, for recurring and new violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Plattsburgh manufacturing plant. Proposed penalties total $69,244 after OSHA's Albany Area Office opened the inspection on Feb. 11 to verify correction of hazards cited during a 2010 OSHA inspection.
"Unfortunately, we found several recurring hazards that expose employees to explosion and fire hazards, hearing loss, hazardous chemicals and electric shock," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. "This employer must take prompt, effective and ongoing action to ensure these hazards are corrected for good. The safety and well-being of its workers depend on it."
The recurring conditions include explosion and deflagration hazards due to an inadequately designed, installed and maintained system to collect and dispose of combustible dust generated during the manufacturing process; fire hazards from inadequate ventilation and procedures for the storage and dispensing of flammable liquids; and failing to train workers in the use of fire extinguishers. Other recurring hazards include not providing training and a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to high noise levels, workers being overexposed to hazardous chemicals, lack of chemical hazard communication training and a misused electrical cord.
These conditions, which were cited in April 2011, resulted in the current issuance of seven repeat citations carrying $53,074 in fines. 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.
Three serious citations, with $16,170 in fines, were issued for not providing annual audiometric testing to workers exposed to high noise levels and not informing workers of excessive noise and noise-level monitoring results. 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.
Solve Composites LLC 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 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.
# # #
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.