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Region 2 News Release:    04-2004-NEW / BOS 2004-244
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075


OSHA Fines Massena, N.Y., Automobile Parts Manufacturer $160,000 for Failing to Record Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A Massena, N.Y., automobile parts manufacturers widespread failure to record work-related hearing losses and other occupational injuries, as well as a variety of safety hazards, has resulted in $160,000 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

General Motors Powertrain Corp. has been cited for alleged willful, serious and other violations of health and safety standards at its Route 37 East plant. OSHA began its inspection on April 13 in response to an employee complaint.

"Strong enforcement is a key part of this Administration's efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $160,000 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."

OSHA's inspection identified 98 instances where the company did not record on the OSHA 300 Log work-related noise-induced hearing losses and other injuries and illnesses suffered by employees at the plant. Accurate recordkeeping is essential for protecting workers since it provides the opportunity for timely identification and correction of conditions that can harm workers.

The Massena plant's failure to record work-related injuries led to the issuance of two willful citations, carrying $140,000 in fines. 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.

Six serious citations, with $12,000 in proposed fines, were issued for a variety of safety hazards including an obstructed exit route, inadequate guarding of moving machine parts, no load rating for an elevated work platform, failure to assess the need for personal protective equipment for workers, lack of warning signs and a non-exit door not marked as such. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

An additional $8,000 in fines is proposed for two other citations concerning improper recording of injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log of occupational illnesses and injuries.

The company 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.

The investigation was conducted by OSHAs Syracuse area office, located at 3300 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York, Telephone: (315) 451-0808.

OSHAs role is to assure the safety and health of Americas 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.


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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. Call (202) 693-7773 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.
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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