OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 6 News Release OSHA-03-99
Mon., June 16, 2003
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
(214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
To Pace Industries, Inc. in Harrison, Ark.
LITTLE ROCK -- Pace Industries, Inc. of Harrison, Ark., allegedly failed to protect employees against burns from molten metal and to follow safety standards for guarding machinery and preventing falls, according to citations issued to the aluminum castings manufacturer by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $431,650 for almost 50 alleged health and safety violations the agency uncovered during an inspection that began Dec. 9, 2002. The Harrison plant was selected for the inspection based on the high rate of injuries and illnesses it reported to OSHA last year. The company employs about 600 workers at its 62/65 Bypass facility in Harrison. Corporate headquarters are in Carthage, Mo.
"Safety and health standards are designed to protect workers from injuries and illnesses," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "Especially in high-hazard industries such as metal casting, OSHA stands ready to help companies to achieve compliance. But we will also strictly enforce standards when necessary."
The inspection consisted of both safety and health components. Citations issued for the safety inspection included two alleged willful, 26 serious and one other-than-serious violation. The two willful safety citations were for failure to conduct annual inspections of energy control procedures and improper machine guarding.
Citations for alleged serious violations included failure to maintain safe clearances for mechanical handling equipment; not having covers or guardrails for open ditches and pits; not providing appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent employees from falling; failure to ensure proper operation of industrial trucks; failure to ensure proper installation and use of electrical equipment and failure to ensure that a qualified person tested equipment to be de-energized prior to performing work. The other-than-serious violation was for failing to ensure that open-sided floors and platforms were properly guarded.
Citations issued for the health inspection included three alleged willful, 15 serious, and two other-than-serious violations. The willful health violations were for failing to ensure that employees exposed to being struck by molten metal used proper clothing, foot protection and appropriate personal protective equipment.
Among the alleged serious health violations were failure to ensure that employees were prohibited from entering danger zones without proper personal protective equipment; failure to prevent employees from stepping or falling into furnace metal wells while performing maintenance; not ensuring that work areas were kept clean and orderly; not providing hearing protection to employees overexposed to noise; failure to provide emergency eyewash and body shower facilities and failure to develop and implement a proper hazard communications program. The two other than serious health violations were for failing to ensure that exits were properly marked and failing to develop and implement a proper respiratory protection program.
A willful citation is issued for violations committed with disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known.
Pace Industries, Inc. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Little Rock area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers or workers who have questions concerning safety and health may contact the Little Rock Area Office at (501) 324-6291 or OSHA's toll-free hotline at 1-800-321-6742. OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov ###
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