Uncorrected and recurring hazards at Victor, NY, manufacturing plant lead
to $131,600 in additional US Labor Department OSHA fines
Wordingham Machine Co. failed to correct previously cited hazards
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The failure of a Victor-based optical equipment manufacturer to correct serious safety hazards has resulted in $131,600 in additional fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"Employers must understand that they cannot ignore their responsibility to provide safe working conditions for their employees and to correct hazards when identified. Ignoring OSHA citations means that employees remain at risk of serious injury or even death," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "These large, additional fines are the direct result of this employer's lack of action."
OSHA's Syracuse Area Office first cited Wordingham Machine Co. in March for seven violations of workplace safety standards at the company's 580 Fishers Station Drive manufacturing plant. OSHA proposed $16,100 in fines for those violations. OSHA began a follow-up inspection in June after the company failed to respond to the citations or submit proof that it had corrected the cited hazards.
The follow-up inspection found that six specific hazards remained uncorrected. These include unguarded moving machine parts; no procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance; unapproved use of electrical equipment; excess pressure for a compressed air hose used for cleaning; and not providing workers with fire extinguisher training. These conditions resulted in OSHA issuing six failure-to-abate notifications to Wordingham, with $126,000 in fines. OSHA also issued a repeat citation, carrying a $5,600 fine, for a locked exit door, a condition similar to one that had been cited in the previous inspection.
A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice for which the employer was originally cited and, upon reinspection, was found uncorrected. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any of its facilities in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Wordingham_Machine_Company_Wordingham_Technologies_870745_12_3_2013.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Wordingham_Machine_Company_Wordingham_Technologies_910158_12_3_2013.pdf.*
Wordingham Machine has 15 business days from receipt of its latest 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 Area 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 http://www.osha.gov.
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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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.