US Labor Department's OSHA cites Pottstown, Pa., concrete products
company for exposing workers to safety and health hazards
POTTSTOWN, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Universal Concrete Products Corp. for 18 alleged safety and health violations – four of which are repeat – at its Pottstown facility. OSHA initiated an inspection in response to a complaint. Proposed penalties total $47,286.
The repeat violations involve failing to provide an adequate respiratory protection system and "lockout/tagout" methods to prevent machinery from accidentally starting up. The citations carry $18,340 in penalties. 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. Similar violations were cited in 2007.
"This company continues to put its employees at risk of serious injury by not correcting previously cited hazards," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "It is imperative that the necessary steps are taken to provide workers at this facility with a safe and healthful work environment."
Twelve serious violations involve failing to provide standard railings around floor holes and open-sided floors, provide fire extinguishers and an emergency evacuation plan, have an adequate respiratory protection program, ensure that machines' energy sources are locked/tagged out, provide powered industrial truck training, properly inspect cranes, ensure that a concrete mixer has proper machine guarding, replace missing knockout plugs and damaged panel boxes, and have a hazard communication program. The citations carry $28,946 in penalties. 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 involve hazards associated with walking and working surfaces and electrical installations. The citations do not carry monetary penalties. 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.
Universal Concrete Products Corp. employs 73 workers at its Pottstown facility. 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.
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 Allentown office at 267-429-7542.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.