Dec. 15, 2006
Contact: Brad Mitchell
U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA Proposes $151,650 in Penalties
BELLWOOD, Ill. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $151,650 in fines against Universal Form Clamp Inc., Bellwood, Ill., for 40 alleged serious violations of federal workplace safety and health standards following an investigation into a June 14, 2006 explosion and fire at the facility that took the life of one worker.
The explosion occurred in a solvent blending area and an adjacent blending area for oil based products at the concrete formwork products manufacturer and distributor. The employee who lost his life due to injuries sustained in the blast and resultant fire was an independent trucker making a delivery and not an employee of Universal Form Clamp.
Serious citations were issued against the company for violations associated with fixed industrial stairs, flammable and combustible liquids, process safety management of hazardous chemicals, hazardous waste operations and emergency response, emergency action plans, personal protective equipment, fire extinguishers, powered industrial trucks, machine guarding and hazard communication.
"Any one of these violations has the potential to cause serious harm or death to workers," said OSHA Area Director Diane Turek. "Finding hazards and insisting they be corrected are among the best services we can perform for working men and women."
Universal Form Clamp had previously been inspected in March 1997 and cited for hearing conservation deficiencies, power source lockout issues, machine guarding, personal protective equipment and electrical violations. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the current citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace 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 www.osha.gov.
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