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Region 1 04-1444-BOS / BOS 2004-169
Monday, August 02, 2004
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075

Bridgeport Employer Faces $81,600 in OSHA Fines for Safety Hazards

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A Bridgeport, Conn., company that engages in the nationwide distribution of heavy steel beams has been cited by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for allegedly exposing employees to multiple workplace hazards.

Bushwick Metals Inc., of 560 North Washington Ave., is facing a total of $81,600 in fines for 36 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA's combined safety and health inspections of the company's facilities took place between Jan. 29 and April 7, 2004, and revealed that employees were being exposed to hazards ranging from slips, trips and falls to unguarded and hazardous equipment and machinery to fires and electrical shocks.

"Employers must provide their employees with a safe and healthful workplace," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "There is no excuse for exposing workers to the types of hazards we found in this facility."

OSHA cited Bushwick Metals Inc. for 35 alleged serious violations of safety standards for exposing employees to hazards including: falls from access ways to overhead bridge cranes; numerous tripping hazards; slipping hazards; unguarded floor holes, open sided floors and stairways; exposed and improperly stored flammable materials; no procedures for dealing with potential releases of hazardous energy; defective and unsafe use of powered industrial trucks; defective cranes; electrical hazards; defective and unguarded equipment and machinery; among others. These alleged violations carry penalties totaling $80,400.

The company was also cited for one alleged serious violation of OSHA's health standards, with a $1,200 proposed penalty, for failing to maintain a list of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace and to have on hand material safety data sheets for those chemicals. Finally, the company was cited for four "other than serious" violations, which carry no proposed penalties. (A "serious" violation is cited for hazards that pose a substantial probability to cause serious physical harm or death to exposed employees.)

Bushwick Metals has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to elect to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by the Bridgeport OSHA Area Office at 203-579-5581.

The U.S. Department of Labor'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. 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


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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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