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Region 1 News Release: 08-868-BOS/BOS 2008-218
Wed., July 30, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Facility cited for similar fall, crushing and electrical hazards in 2004, 2005 and 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $133,000 in fines against C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. for alleged repeat and serious safety violations at its Windsor Locks, Conn., warehouse. The citations and fines result from an OSHA inspection opened in January 2008 in response to a complaint.
"Unfortunately, conditions cited during the earlier inspection of this workplace have reappeared, once again exposing employees to the dangers of falls, crushing injuries and electrocution," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "The sizable fines proposed in this case reflect the serious and recurring nature of these hazards, and the need for the company to take effective and continuous action to prevent them."
Specifically, OSHA has issued the company three repeat citations, carrying $112,500 in proposed fines, for several instances of large metal storage racks that were unstable due to snapped, bent or twisted cross bracing or main supports; open-sided work platforms lacking railings or equivalent protection against falls of up to 18 feet; and ungrounded energized metal dock lights. OSHA cited C&S Wholesale Grocers for these same conditions in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The inspection also identified new hazards including unguarded pulleys, lack of auxiliary lighting on pallet jacks and exposed live electrical wiring. These conditions resulted in the issuance of five serious citations with $20,500 in proposed fines. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Hartford Area Office; telephone 860-240-3152.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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.
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