10-337-PHI (osha 10-39)
March 17, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
US Labor Department's OSHA fines Allentown, Pa., company for failing to abate workplace safety and health hazards
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited COMPUSPAR USA Inc. for failing to abate previously cited workplace safety and health violations. Penalties total $101,700.
OSHA initiated its investigation on Sept. 15, 2009, to determine the abatement status of previously identified hazards. As a result of the investigation, the company has been cited with four failure to abate violations with a penalty of $83,400. The company also has been cited for six repeat violations with a penalty of $11,400; six serious violations with a penalty of $6,900; and one other-than-serious violation, which carries no penalty.
"The company's refusal to abate these violations leaves its employees exposed to a variety of hazards and at risk of injury and illness," said Jean Kulp, area director of OSHA's Allentown office. "It is imperative that COMPUSPAR take all necessary steps to remove these hazards to ensure the safety and health of workers at the Allentown facility."
The failure to abate citations address the company's failure to maintain OSHA 300 logs for two years; to develop and implement a hazard communication program; to train employees on hazardous chemicals; and to develop and implement a respiratory protection program. The repeat violations include the company's failure to maintain a material safety data sheet for hazardous chemicals used in the spray painting operation; failure to cover flammable liquids; use of unapproved electrical equipment in hazardous locations; lack of proper ventilation in a spray booth and the lack of cleanliness of the spray area. OSHA issues a repeat violation when an employer previously was cited for the same or similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facilities in federal enforcement states within the last three years.
The serious violations are due to the company's failure to properly label a drum containing hazardous chemicals; failure to properly guard machinery; improper use of electric boxes and the use of a power strip as an alternative to fixed wiring. A serious citation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
COMPUSPAR USA Inc. repairs and reworks electronic and electromechanical equipment, and employs 76 workers at its Allentown site.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Allentown Area Office; telephone: 610-776-0592. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
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 assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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