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Region 2 News Release:     04-900-NEW/BOS 2004-109
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Office: (617) 565-2074


OSHA Proposes $133,650 in Fines against Two Model City, N.Y., Employers after Worker Loses Leg in Conveyor

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Failure to protect workers at a Model City, N.Y., recycling facility and landfill against a variety of safety hazards has resulted in citations and fines against two companies.

The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Modern Recycling Inc., which runs the recycling facility at 4746 Model City Rd., and Modern Landfill, Inc., which runs the landfill at that same address, for alleged violations of safety standards after a Nov. 20, 2003, accident in which a Modern Recycling worker lost his leg when he was caught in the conveyor of a tire-shredding machine.

"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 penalties of $133,650 proposed in this case demonstrate the Administration's commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers.

OSHA's inspection found that the emergency cord that would have immediately stopped the conveyor was broken and that Modern Recycling knew this but had not fixed the cord. In addition, workers were not trained in how to shut off the conveyor, and piles of tires and the limited space surrounding the machinery increased the potential for workers being caught in the conveyor.

Modern Recycling Inc. was fined $63,000 for an alleged willful violation for failing to maintain an operable stop cord for the conveyor. The company was also fined $51,750 for 20 alleged serious violations, including failing to train workers on how to stop the conveyor, poor housekeeping, an inadequate number of emergency exits, defective ladders, no fire extinguisher training, no procedures to prevent the accidental startup of conveyors during maintenance and a variety of machine guarding, electrical and fall hazards. An additional $900 fine was proposed for an alleged other-than-serious violation for failing to record lost workday injuries.

Modern Landfill Inc. faces $18,000 in fines for 10 alleged serious violations after OSHA found employees exposed to hazards posed by unguarded machinery, unsafe electrical equipment, lack of personal protective equipment, defective ladders, missing stairrails and unmarked and uncertified steel chain slings.

Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and fines to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director, and/or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office, located at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, NY, telephone (716) 684-3891.

In fiscal year 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2,000 inspections over FY 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.



U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at 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) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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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