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Region 5 News Release: 12-432-CHI
March 19, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976


US Department of Labor's OSHA proposes $103,500 in fines to
Polychem in Leetonia, Ohio, for 30 safety and health violations

LEETONIA, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Polychem OMS Systems LLC, a specialty manufacturer of equipment for the production and processing of metals and plastic products in Leetonia, with 30 safety and health violations, including exposing workers to amputation hazards. Proposed penalties total $103,500.

OSHA initiated an inspection in September based on a complaint. Twenty-one serious safety violations involve failing to establish a lockout/tagout program to control the energy sources of equipment; remove damaged web slings from service; provide machine guarding on lathes, blades, grinders and other equipment; provide personal protective equipment for electrical work; inspect trucks prior to use; remove defective vehicles from service; and train workers to operate powered industrial trucks.

Six serious health violations include failing to provide other personal protective equipment, develop and implement a respirator program, conduct fire extinguisher training, develop and implement a hazard communication program, label hazardous chemicals, and properly store flammable and combustible liquids. 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.

One other-than serious safety violation is failing to tag alloy steel slings with size, grade and capacity information. Additionally, two other-than-serious health violations are failing to provide written certification that a hazard assessment was conducted, and maintain the OSHA 300 injury and illness log. 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.

"Polychem OMS Systems has the responsibility to ensure that its employees are properly trained and protected from amputation hazards such as those caused by the lack of machine guarding, and to provide personal protective equipment to keep workers safe on the job," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

The citations can be viewed at**.

Polychem OMS Systems is an affiliate of Polychem in Mentor and employs about 12 workers at the Leetonia site. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.

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 Cleveland Area Office at 216-615-4266. 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


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at 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.

* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.