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Region 3 News Release: III-03-04-02-031-PA
Wed., June 4, 2003
Contact: Kate Dugan
Office: (215) 861-5101
$130,000 PENALTY TO McWANE FACILITY IN NEW JERSEY
PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -- Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company, a subsidiary of McWane Industries, is being cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety and health violations, including lockout/tagout procedures that ensure machines are not turned on by mistake. The Phillipsburg, N.J., company faces proposed penalties of $130,000 for a Dec. 7, 2002, accident in which an employee suffered an amputation of three fingers while helping another worker clean a cement mixer.
OSHA issued six repeat violations with a proposed penalty of $117,500, three serious violations with a penalty of $12,500, and three other-than serious violation that carry no penalty.
According to Robert Kulick, area director of the Avenel OSHA office, leading up to the Dec. 7, 2002, incident, the company did not conduct a periodic review of lockout/tagout procedures or verify that the procedures were being followed. Other repeat violations include uncovered floor holes, standards surrounding the safe operation of forklift trucks, and lack of training for employees exposed to silica and formaldehyde.
The serious safety violations address the company's failure to provide locks or other hardware to isolate energy sources, protect employees from welding rays, and splice flexible cords properly. The serious health violations were issued for lack of sanitary washing facility and hand towels, failure to provide and maintain required personal protective equipment, and wet floors that expose employees to slipping hazards.
Serious citations are defined as those where there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer or should have known of the hazard. Repeat citations are issued when the company has been cited previously for a substantially similar hazard.
OSHA said Atlantic States indicated a desire to improve the safety and health conditions of its facility and the agency hopes that progress will be made.
The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA is dedicated to savings 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 releases are accessible on the Internet at http://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) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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