OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 USDL 04-632-BOS /BOS 2004-082
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Nearly $150,000 in Fines Proposed against Connecticut Steel Corporation
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Connecticut Steel Corporation (CSC), of Wallingford, Conn., a manufacturer of wire reinforcing rods, for a total of 47 alleged willful, serious and other workplace safety and health violations. OSHA inspected CSC after a worker was injured in a fall at the company's 35 Toelles Rd. plant.
"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 $149,500 in this case demonstrates the Administration's commitment to promoting the health and safety of American workers."
OSHA's inspection identified several fall and tripping hazards, including unguarded floor holes and an unguarded pit opening, defective ladders, missing guardrails and failure to wear body belts with a lanyard while working in an aerial lift. Other hazards included numerous instances of unguarded moving machine parts, blocked and locked exits and missing exit signs, failure to test confined spaces and train workers in confined space hazards, lockout/tagout deficiencies, inadequate training of forklift operators, unmarked, uninspected and damaged slings, inadequate hazard communication training and labeling as well as exposed live electrical parts.
These citations were classified as serious and carry $99,200 in fines. OSHA defines a serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known, of the hazard.
CSC was issued a willful citation for failing to implement an effective hearing conservation program for workers exposed to excess noise levels. A fine of $49,500 is proposed for this item. 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. The company faces an additional fine of $800 for an incomplete OSHA 300 illness and injury log.
CSC 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 Bridgeport area office conducted the inspection. Its telephone number is (203) 579-5581.
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and promoting the health and safety of America's workers. In fiscal year 2002, the most recent year for which data has been published, there was a 6.6 percent decline in work-related fatalities in the U.S. In FY 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections, and more than half focused on high-hazard industries including construction. 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. 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.
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