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Region 5 News Release 04-304-CHI
March 4, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976


Failure to Protect Workers from Potential Fire or Explosion Results in Significant OSHA Fine for Ohio Firm

CLEVELAND -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Picken's Plastics, Inc., of Jefferson, Ohio, following an agency inspection that revealed a number of dangerous workplace issues. Proposed fines total $216,360.

"To ensure that injury and illness rates continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from workplace hazards," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $216,360 in this case demonstrates this Administration's commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."

OSHA opened its investigation in response to a referral from local fire authorities about safety issues at the plant, which supplies molded fiberglass and reinforced plastic parts to the transportation, heavy equipment, chemical, electrical and appliance industries. The inspection found serious safety problems, including a dangerous and willful failure to address hazards that could lead to an explosion or fire. Other serious safety problems included shortcomings in safety and health training, hazard communication programs, and personal protective equipment.

The company employs approximately 140 full-time workers at the Jefferson facility, where the inspection was conducted, and at another facility in Ashtabula, Ohio. OSHA previously cited the company for violations of workplace safety regulations in May 2003.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections in fiscal year 2003, an increase of more than 2,000 over FY 2002 inspection levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of American workers. For more information, visit
www.osha.gov

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U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at
http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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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