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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: BOS 2003-185
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Health Hazards Leads to Additional $157,500 in OSHA Fines
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Rochester, N.Y., employer's failure to correct previously cited workplace safety and health hazards has resulted in an additional $157,500 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"Safety and health for workers is very important and cannot be ignored," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "When employers agree to correct safety and health hazards, then fail to follow through on their obligation, they will face significant fines and enforcement actions."
Piedmont Hawthorne Aviation, which manages ground service and maintenance operations at Greater Rochester International Airport, was originally cited by OSHA in Sept. 2002 for 14 violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, according to Art Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director. The company subsequently paid a fine of $66,000 and agreed to correct all cited hazards. An OSHA followup inspection begun in Jan. 2003 found that the company had failed to correct hazards in four areas.
As a result, Piedmont Hawthorne faces an additional $150,000 in fines for failing to establish a program to prevent the accidental startup of machinery during maintenance, train and certify employees in the safe operation of powered industrial trucks, provide hazard communication training to employees who work with hazardous chemicals, and require the use of eye protection by employees.
The inspection also uncovered two additional hazards, failure to develop and implement both a confined space program and a respiratory protection program, for which two serious citations were issued and fines of $7,500 proposed.
A failure to abate condition exists when the employer has not corrected a violation for which a citation has been issued and the abatement date has passed. OSHA defines a serious violation as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.
The company 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, located at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, N.Y., conducted the investigation. Its 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 more 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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