OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Landis Plastics, Inc., of Solvay, N.Y., will improve safety and health conditions in its plants in New York and Illinois and will pay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) $425,520 in penalties, under an agreement announced today by Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman.
The agreement settles citations OSHA issued Jan. 14, 1997, against the Solvay plant for willful violations of recordkeeping and hearing conservation requirements and a repeat violation of machine guarding requirements. Other violations included inadequate training of employees in how to lockout and tagout equipment to prevent it from being started while workers are doing repairs or maintenance. Additionally, a citation was issued for ergonomic hazards.
"I am pleased that Landis has agreed to resolve this matter in a way that will ensure maximum protection for its workforce," Secretary Herman said. "All workers should have the assurance that the place where they work is safe and healthful."
The company makes custom-molded plastic food containers. Landis has about 1,200 employees in manufacturing sites in Solvay; Alsip, Ill; Chicago Ridge, Ill.; Richmond, Ind., and Monticello, Ind.
Charles Jeffress, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said the agreement also contains an understanding that the company will seek a similar agreement with the State of Indiana, which operates its own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health program.
"This agreement avoids the burden and cost of prolonged litigation and also furthers the efforts of both Landis and OSHA to provide safe workplaces," said Jeffress.
OSHA originally proposed penalties totaling $720,700 against the Solvay plant. The company has agreed to abate the conditions that were the basis of the citations. It has retained a corporate safety director who will be responsible for compliance with occupational safety and health requirements, and it will implement a safety and health program based on OSHA's voluntary guidelines for safety and health program management.
Landis is taking several steps to comply with injury and illness recordkeeping requirements, which are the cornerstone for managing plant safety and health. The company has assured OSHA that its 1997 records at the Solvay plant are now in full compliance, and it will review and correct any deficiencies in the records for 1995-96. Deficiencies in records for 1995-97 at its other facilities will also be reviewed and corrected. In addition, employees who keep injury and illness records will receive recordkeeping training, and the company will arrange for an independent recordkeeping audit on an annual basis.
In the area of ergonomics, Landis will implement a proactive program at all covered facilities to substantially reduce or eliminate ergonomic stress factors. It has agreed to retain an ergonomics consultant to conduct a comprehensive analysis of all facilities and will implement an action plan to address ergonomic hazards that are identified.
Finally, Landis will provide training for machinery and equipment operators, including machine guarding training, and it will not discharge or discriminate against any employee for exercising rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Varying dates are set for the abatement of hazards. Landis agreed that if it fails to complete any measure within the specified abatement period (unless OSHA approved an extension of the abatement period), it will be subject to penalties of up to $7,000 per day.
A number of affected Landis employees participated in the settlement discussions through representatives who then signed the agreement on behalf of these employees. In addition, one employee signed the agreement personally.
Landis has agreed to post the settlement in the native languages of any affected employees who are unable to read English.
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