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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-03-60
Fri., April 25, 2003
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214)767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
Bring Citations, Fines for Safety and Health Violations
Proposed Fines Total $138,000
DALLAS -- A Houston company has been cited $138,000 for its safety and health violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing its employees to damaged electrical conductors and failure to provide an adequate preventative maintenance program or periodic equipment inspections.
OSHA began one of two investigations of Wyman Gordon Forgings on Nov. 4, 2002, following a complaint. Precision Castparts Corp. in Portland, Ore., owns Wyman Gordon Forgings, a subsidiary of Wyman Gordon, headquartered in North Grafton, Mass. Wyman Gordon Forgings employs about 700 workers in Houston. Precision Casparts employs about 1,700 workers nationwide.
"We expect employers to make sure that workplaces are safe," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "Most employers place a high priority on the safety and health of their employees and take the steps necessary to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. But when they don't, the Department of Labor will move to hold them accountable."
Wyman Gordon Forgings was cited with 44 alleged serious safety and health violations including failure to provide periodic inspections of cranes and lifting devices, failure to provide personal protective equipment, failure to implement lockout/tagout procedures for energized equipment and failure to provide the necessary training to operate and maintain hazardous machinery. OSHA issued citations for these violations with a proposed penalty of $133,000.
The second inspection, which covered the period December 2002-April 2003, resulted in a serious citation totaling $5,000 for subjecting employees to sound levels exceeding those listed in OSHA's guidelines. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Administrative and/or engineering controls were not utilized to reduce noise levels," said John Lawson, OSHA's area director at the Houston north area office. "Employee exposure to high noise levels in the workplace is preventable."
Wyman Gordon Forgings has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers or workers who have questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Houston north area office at (281) 591-2438 or the Houston south area office at (281) 286-0583. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov.
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