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OSHA News Release
Region 4

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Region 4 News Release: 07-1497-ATL (285)
Oct. 11, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA proposes $128,000 in penalties against Clearwater, Fla., manufacturer of customized vehicles

TAMPA, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties totaling $128,000, including $70,000 for one willful safety violation, against Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, doing business as Frontline Communications, for 13 safety and health violations at its Clearwater, Fla., plant.

"This employer is large and important, with ample access to safety information, but management is not employing this knowledge in its own workplace," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa.

OSHA issued one willful violation against the company for not installing guards on its press brakes despite repeated injuries to employees and despite receiving compliance assistance information from OSHA. The agency issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

One repeat safety violation with a penalty of $25,000 was issued for failure to provide fall protection to employees moving between vehicle roofs and mobile stairs or scaffolding.

OSHA inspectors issued nine serious safety violations with $28,000 in penalties and two serious health violations with $5,000 in penalties for allowing employees to operate equipment lacking safety guards; operating without lockout/tagout procedures, which are intended to prevent inadvertent machine start-ups; not inspecting overhead equipment prior to use; and not developing hearing conservation and written respirator programs.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Tampa Area Office at 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A; telephone (813) 626-1177.

OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

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 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


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