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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 04-1770-CHI
September 16, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
TOLEDO, Ohio -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations and proposed penalties totaling $179,700 to Allen County Recyclers Inc., doing business as Allen County Pallet Company, following an investigation into alleged workplace health and safety violations at its Lima, Ohio, facility.
"Strong enforcement has been one of the keys to this Administration's success in reducing workplace injuries and illnesses to record low levels," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $179,700 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."
The company was cited for two alleged willful violations for failing to lockout equipment before performing maintenance activities and failure to provide adequate machine guarding. A repeat violation was also issued for failing to provide adequate guarding on woodworking equipment. Serious violations addressed deficiencies with forklift operations, housekeeping, materials storage, and electrical cabinet maintenance.
OSHA also conducted a separate health inspection, which resulted in a serious citation for failing to inform workers of the need and purpose of audiometric testing. A willful citation was issued for failing to perform audiometric testing.
Allen County Pallet was last inspected in June 2003 following an accident where a worker was seriously injured after having been caught in unguarded machinery.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
In fiscal year 2003, OSHA 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. For more information, visit www.osha.gov. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of America's workers.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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). Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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