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Region 2 News Release:     BOS 2003-234
Friday, September 5, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074


Numerous Safety Hazards Lead to $181,400 in OSHA Fines for Elmira,
N.Y., Manufacturing Facility

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is fining an Elmira, N.Y., fire hydrant and valve manufacturer $181,400 for failing to address a wide range of occupational safety and health hazards that could have killed or seriously injured employees, including hazards from falls, unlabeled chemicals, and negative health consequences from overexposure to silica.

OSHA cited Kennedy Valve, a Division of McWane, Inc., for 24 alleged repeat and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following a comprehensive inspection that OSHA's Syracuse area office conducted between March and September. The inspection was part of a national settlement agreement between OSHA and McWane Industries, Inc.

Ten repeat citations account for $137,900 of the fines. These citations address fall hazards, uncovered containers of flammable liquids, not maintaining forklift name plates, inadequate machine guarding, electrical hazards, employees wearing inadequate respiratory protection, unlabeled hazardous chemicals, employee overexposure to silica and lack of administrative or engineering controls to reduce silica exposure hazards. OSHA issues repeat citations when an employer has previously been cited for substantially similar hazards and those citations have become final. The current repeat citations stem from violations found at other McWane worksites during OSHA inspections conducted between 2000 and 2003.

Fines of $43,500 are proposed for 14 serious citations including failure to properly maintain overhead lift components, deficiencies involving containers of flammable liquids, paint spray booth hazards, additional machine guarding, electrical and fall hazards, not refitting employees for hearing protection after they sustained standard threshold shift hearing loss, incomplete personal protective equipment assessment, lack of annual confined space rescue drills, over-exposure to total dust and lack of administrative controls or engineering controls, lack of initial determination for lead exposure and shoveling of sand containing lead. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties 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 Syracuse area office conducted the inspection. Its telephone number is (315) 451-0808.

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.

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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.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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