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09-930-PHI (osha 09-175)
Aug. 17, 2009
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5101

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA fines Tamaqua, Pa., company for workplace safety and health violations

TAMAQUA, Pa. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Trans Western Polymers Inc. for workplace safety and health violations with proposed fines totaling $49,500.

As a result of an investigation, the company was cited a willful citation with a penalty of $49,500 for points of operation not being guarded on bag conversion machines. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

"The safety of workers operating bag conversion machines should not be compromised due to avoidable hazards," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's area office in Wilkes-Barre where the investigation was initiated after a complaint was received.

Trans Western Polymers, which employs about 270 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Office; telephone: 570-826-6467.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit


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