Region 4 News Release: 09-174-ATL (042)
Feb. 24, 2009
Contact: Michael Wald
U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA proposes more than $192,000 in penalties after inspecting NTN-Bower's Hamilton, Ala., plant
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $192,350 in penalties after an inspection at NTN-Bower's manufacturing plant in Hamilton, Ala., revealed 36 safety and health violations.
The plant's owner, NTN-Bower Corp., is being cited with one willful and 31 serious violations, while Advanced Technology Services, which provides maintenance support at the facility, is receiving four citations for serious safety violations. OSHA is proposing $172,350 in penalties for NTN-Bower and an additional $20,000 in penalties for Advanced Technology Services Inc.
"The large number of violations revealed by OSHA's inspection of this facility reflects management's failure to properly train its employees to work safely and ensure that company safety policies are followed consistently," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham.
NTN-Bower's one willful citation, which carries a $63,000 penalty, is for not enforcing the company's lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental start-up of machinery. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The 31 serious violations address inadequacies in training employees, deficiencies in clothing and equipment needed for fighting fires, inadequate and missing machine guards, inadequate labeling of chemicals and electrical deficiencies.
Advanced Technology Services is being cited for not providing appropriate protective equipment to employees, failing to adequately train employees to fight fires, and not ensuring that employees were capable of firefighting duties. Part of Advanced Technology's contract with NTN-Bower includes responsibility for responding to fires at this location.
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest the violations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham Area Office at 950 22nd St. North, Room 1050; telephone 205-731-1534.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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