US Labor Department's OSHA cites Pandrol USA in Bridgeport, NJ,
for willful and serious violations, proposes $283,500 in penalties
Company added to Severe Violator Enforcement Program
BRIDGEPORT, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Pandrol USA LP, a rail fastening system manufacturer, with 25 safety and health violations - including three willful - at the company's Bridgeport facility. A complaint alleging hazards prompted OSHA's inspection. Proposed penalties total $283,500.
The willful violations involve the employer's failure to use energy control, or "lockout/tagout" procedures, for mechanical and hydraulic presses; provide machine guarding; and ensure that employees performing maintenance and repairs on machinery are properly trained on energy control procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Due to the willful violations, Pandrol has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on the program, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.
Twenty serious violations relate to OSHA's noise exposure standard, electrical hazards, a lack of machine guarding and personal protective equipment, not periodically inspecting energy control procedures, failing to develop and implement a confined space program, and not mounting fire extinguishers. 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.
Two other-than-serious violations are not having a written hazard communication program and not labeling spray bottles. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
"A lockout/tagout program ensures that machines are shut down and their power sources locked out before employees work on them," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so."
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MX-5001N_20121129_095323.pdf*.
Pandrol has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA 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 Marlton office at 856-596-5200.
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 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 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.