US Department of Labor's OSHA cites 2 companies at Hamilton, Ala., plant;
proposes more than $112,000 in fines
Illinois-based NTN-Bower and Advanced Technology Services cited for 19 violations
HAMILTON, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited NTN-Bower Corp. and on-site contractor Advanced Technology Services Inc. for a total of 19 safety and health violations at NTN-Bower's Hamilton plant. Proposed penalties total $112,200 following a January inspection, which was a follow-up to a 2009 inspection.
NTN-Bower Corp. is one of the largest manufacturers of precision roller bearings used in industrial and agricultural equipment, with its main office located in Macomb, Ill. Advanced Technology Services Inc. is headquartered in Peoria, Ill., and performs maintenance support activities within host companies.
NTN-Bower was cited for one repeat safety violation with a penalty of $22,000 for failing to label hazardous chemical containers. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The Hamilton plant received a citation for the same violation in 2009.
Additionally, ten serious safety violations with $50,600 in proposed penalties including not requiring employees working with corrosive chemicals to wear eye, face, hand or body protection; failing to have an eyewash station or other means available for drenching; not protecting a battery charger from being damaged by trucks; failing to secure and balance crane loads; missing machine guarding; and an electrical disconnect switch that was not readily accessible.
Two serious health violations with $8,800 in penalties include not establishing a baseline hearing test for employees and failing to follow up with annual tests for employees. 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.
Advanced Technology Services was cited for six serious safety violations with penalties of $30,800 for allowing unguarded, open-sided platforms to not have handrails; not providing a landing platform for ladders when employees had to step a distance greater than 12 inches; failing to provide an evaluation of confined space rescue and emergency services; having disconnect switches that were not marked with their purpose; and blocking disconnect switches in the tool room.
"This inspection identified a range of safety and health deficiencies that need to be addressed by the employers in order to protect employees," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "It is the employers' responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace."
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham Area Office located at 950 N. 22 St., Suite 1050, Birmingham, Ala. 35203; telephone 205-731-1534. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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 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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.