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Region 2 News Release: BOS 2002-132
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
Safety Hazards at Syracuse, N.Y., China Plant Lead to $119,000
in Proposed OSHA Fines
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A multitude of safety hazards, including exposing employees to unguarded machinery, electrical and fire hazards and hazardous substances, have resulted in $119,000 in proposed fines against Syracuse China Company of Syracuse, N.Y.
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the chinaware manufacturer, a subsidiary of Libbey Glass, Inc., for alleged serious, repeat and other-than-serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act at its manufacturing plant here. The company has until July 2 to contest the citations.
According to Diane M. Brayden, OSHA's area director for Syracuse, the action results from an inspection of the plant conducted Dec. 13, 2001 through April 10, 2002 under OSHA's "site specific targeting 2000 program." Under this program, Brayden noted, general industry worksites were selected for inspection based on high rates of lost workday injuries during calendar year 1998.
As the result of the inspection, Syracuse China Company has been cited for alleged serious violations of OSHA's safety standards, which include a proposed penalty of $94,000.
The company also was cited for a repeat violation relating to general machine guarding infractions. The proposed penalty for this violation is $25,000.
Finally, Syracuse China was also cited for alleged other-than-serious violations including failure to provide stair railings, blocking access to circuit breaker panels and disconnect switches, and using extension cords as permanent wiring. The other-than-serious violations did not include a proposed monetary penalty, but must be corrected.
A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. A repeat violation is cited when an employer has been cited for an identical or substantially similar condition within the past three years. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office, located at 3300 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York. Telephone (315) 451 0808.
A summary of the alleged serious violations is attached.
Summary of Alleged Serious Violations:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Syracuse China Company for alleged serious violations for failure to:
adequately maintain safety latches, lifting hooks and limit switches on hoists, or to inspect below the hook lifting devices or mark load capacities on monorails;
maintain floors in dry condition and maintain aisles clear of obstruction;
guard floor openings and floor holes, and open-sided floors;
maintain unobstructed access to building exits, and adequately mark the exits;
institute adequate precautions against the ignition of flammable vapors;
conduct annual inspection of energy control procedures; adequately install point-of-operation guarding, or to guard horizontal and vertical shafts, keyways, belts and pulleys, sprocket wheels and chains;
prohibit the use of compressed air for cleaning at pressures greater than 30 psi;
close cylinder valves when not in use, and use valve protection cap;
label circuit breaker panels, or provide protection from exposed live electrical parts;
electrically ground equipment, and wire with correct polarity;
provide face shields, goggles and eyewash/safety showers where corrosive chemicals are used;
ensure the use of, or adequately train regarding the use of mechanical retrieval lines;
provide rescue services with information about the site's confined spaces;
adequately assess and control employee exposure to respirable silica dust and lead, or to properly label containers of cadmium-containing powders;
label containers of hazardous chemicals;
provide protection from contaminated hypodermic needles in the Nurse's office;
conduct initial exposure monitoring or training of personnel exposed to methylene chloride.
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.
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