OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 USDL 04-411-BOS/BOS 2004-061
Monday, March 22, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
$75,000 in Fines Proposed after Worker Injury
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Wyman-Gordon Co.'s alleged failure to safeguard workers against fork truck hazards at its North Grafton, Mass., forging plant has resulted in $75,000 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Wyman-Gordon was cited for alleged willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an OSHA inspection prompted by an Oct. 10, 2003, accident at its Worcester Street plant. An employee suffered a head injury when the carriage of a fork truck dropped unexpectedly and struck him.
"Allowing fork trucks to operate in an unsafe condition exposes workers to serious injury," said Ronald E. Morin, OSHA's area director for central and western Massachusetts. "Prompt and proper repairs could have prevented this accident. Effective preventive maintenance can minimize similar hazards in the future."
OSHA's inspection found the fork truck had been damaged prior to the accident but had not been removed from service for repairs as required under OSHA standards. In addition, a second fork truck was kept in service for 10 days after workers spotted significant damage and informed management of its need for repairs.
OSHA has issued a "willful" citation to Wyman-Gordon for failing to correct this hazard and proposed a fine of $70,000. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Wyman-Gordon was also issued a "serious" citation, with a $5,000 proposed fine, for failing to develop and maintain a preventive maintenance program for fork trucks. Such a program would allow for early identification and repair of defects before they become major safety hazards. OSHA defines a serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Wyman-Gordon 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 Springfield, Mass., area office conducted the inspection. Its telephone number is (413) 785-0123.
In FY 2003, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections, and 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 America's workers. For more information visit www.osha.gov.
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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755
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