Region 7 News Release 10-988-KAN (10-226)
July 21, 2010
Contact: Deanne Amaden
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Matthews Manufacturing
of St. Louis with nearly 100 workplace safety violations
More than $260,000 in penalties proposeds
ST. LOUIS - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Matthews Manufacturing Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., for extensive workplace safety violations endangering the health and safety of its employees. An OSHA inspection turned up 91 alleged serious, one alleged willful, two alleged repeat and one alleged other-than-serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The OSHA inspection was initiated after employees of the company were observed exposed to energized overhead power lines. Proposed penalties total $262,200.
"There is no excuse for the multitude of hazards found at this facility," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment for all of their employees."
The willful violation addresses a hazard associated with employees working in the proximity of unguarded, energized overhead power lines. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health. The repeat violations address hazards associated with electrical equipment. Repeat violations are issued when an employer has been previously cited for the same, or a substantially similar, violation within three years of the final order date.
The serious violations stem from overall deficiencies in the life safety code/emergency action plan, abrasive blasting, hearing conservation. flammable liquids, spray booths, personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout of powered machinery, fire extinguishers, powered industrial trucks, cranes, machine guarding, welding, electrical wiring and enclosures, airborne contaminants, and hazard communication. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard that an employer knew or should have known about. The other-than-serious violation addresses a recordkeeping deficiency.
Matthews Manufacturing Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in St. Louis or contest the findings 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 assure 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
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