Friday, December 15, 2006
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
SAREPTA, La. -- A Sarepta company's alleged failure to protect workers from crushing hazards that contributed to a worker's death has resulted in proposed penalties totaling $67,500 from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Continental Structural Plastics Louisiana LLC was cited for alleged violations following a fatality investigation that began June 30 at the company's Sarepta facility. Continental Structural, which manufactures structural plastic components for automobile and non-automotive industries, employs about 240 employees at its facility.
"The company's failure to follow the hydraulic press manufacturer's standard operating procedures contributed to the worker's death," said Greg Honaker, area director of OSHA's Baton Rouge area office. "Complying with OSHA's standard for machine guarding could have prevented this fatality."
The company was cited for one alleged willful and one alleged serious violation of OSHA standards. The alleged willful violation was issued for failing to protect employees from being crushed while operating a hydraulic power press. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The alleged serious violation was issued for failing to anchor the palm button control station, responsible for operating the hydraulic power press, to the floor to prevent the unintended tripping or cycling of the press. A serious violation is one that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge area director or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may call the OSHA area office in Baton Rouge at (225) 298-5458 or OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1 (800) 321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.