April 23, 2015
Steel wire producer exposes workers to amputation and lead hazards
OSHA cites Bekaert Corp. in Van Buren, Arkansas, for 12 violations,
proposes $76K in penalties
Employer name: Bekaert Corp.
Inspection site: Van Buren, Arkansas
Date inspection was initiated and what prompted the inspection: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened the inspection in December 2014 based on a complaint alleging unguarded machinery and lead exposures.
Investigation findings: OSHA cited the employer for 12 violations, including eight serious and one repeated. Those violations include the company's failure to prevent lead accumulation and contamination, and failure to guard machines to shield workers from cutting blades and moving parts during operation.
The repeated violation, with a penalty of $53,000, was for failing to guard machines to prevent exposure to hazards such as pinch points, and rotating and moving parts. A similar violation at the facility was cited in a November 2011 inspection.
Total proposed penalties: $76,000
Quote: "Without protections, moving machine parts can lead to workers losing limbs," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock. "It is the responsibility of the employer to find and fix these hazards to keep workers safe."
Information: The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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.
Release Number: 15-659-DAL
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