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Region 2 News Release: BOS 2003-173
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The death of a worker at a Batavia, New York, industrial laundry could have been prevented if employees had been properly trained and the work area maintained in a dry condition, reports the U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Tenney Laundry Service Inc., 34 Swan Street, faces $40,500 in fines for nine alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. According to Art Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director, the worker died on April 12, when he slipped from a wet work platform and struck a railing while trying to clear a jam in an operating water extraction press.
In addition to wet, slippery conditions on the work platform, the inspection found that the worker had not been properly trained to shut down the press and isolate its power source before attempting to clear the jam and the machine's safety interlock had been bypassed, allowing it to operate while he attempted to clear the jam.
The company was also cited for failing to train and certify employees in the safe use of forklifts properly inform them about machine hazards; and train and inform them about hazardous chemicals used in the facility.
"Proper safety training is a basic necessity for avoiding workplace hazards and this case shows why," said Dube. "Employers who don't ensure their workers are properly trained run the risk of exposing them to severe injuries or death."
A serious violation is defined as a condition that exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee.
Tenney Laundry Service Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA's Buffalo Area Office at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, NY, conducted the investigation. The telephone number is (716) 684-3891.
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 further information, visit www.osha.gov
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.
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