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Region 3


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Dec. 22, 2014

Scranton, Pennsylvania, chimney supply company again exposes
employees to serious hazards and injuries, says OSHA

SCRANTON, Pa. ¿ In the past few years, Olympia Chimney Supply Inc. employees have suffered crushed fingers, amputation of multiple fingertips and entire fingers, but serious safety violations persist at the Scranton-based company. A June 2014 inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Olympia workers again exposed to a number of serious machine hazards.

Spurred by yet another safety complaint, investigators initiated their review under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations. For failure to take proper precautions to prevent the dangers of amputation, laceration and crushed fingers, Olympia was cited for 14 safety violations with fines totaling $49,000.

"Olympia's  record reveals that employees have suffered more than 20 injuries in the past few years, including lacerations, crushed and pinched fingers, multiple fingertip amputations and the amputation of several fingers," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office. "This company must do a better job of protecting its employee from these serious, yet preventable, injuries."

OSHA inspectors found several machines at the facility were not guarded properly, and discovered deficiencies in the company's lockout/tagout program, which prevents inadvertent machine start-ups during maintenance. As a result, OSHA issued citations for 13 serious violations.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. An additional citation was issued for an electrical hazard.

Olympia manufactures materials used for chimney construction and restoration. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally 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 Wilkes-Barre Area Office at570-826-6538.

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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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Release Number:14-2228-PHI (osha 14-103)


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