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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release: 08-960-CHI
July 29, 2008
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
Violations include overexposing employees to silica
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $114,600 in fines against O.S. Kelly Co. in Springfield for alleged serious, repeat and failure-to-abate violations of federal workplace safety standards.
OSHA selected O.S. Kelly for inspection as a follow-up to a February 2007 inspection that resulted in citations for overexposing employees to silica. The company manufactures and refurbishes piano plates for Steinway & Sons. As a result of OSHA's follow-up inspection, opened in January 2008, the federal agency issued citations alleging three serious violations with proposed penalties of $5,400, three repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $19,200 and one citation for failure-to-abate with penalties totaling $90,000.
The serious violations address hazards associated with confined space entry and personal protective equipment. Repeat violations address problems with respirator fit testing and employee overexposure to crystalline silica during cut-off operations. The failure-to-abate violation addresses employee overexposure to silica during the grinding of piano plates.
"This industry is historically well acquainted with the threat that overexposure to silica poses to the health and lives of employees," said Richard Gilgrist, director of OSHA's area office in Cincinnati. "Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful, or face close scrutiny by this agency, including the good chance that we can and do re-inspect businesses to confirm compliance with OSHA standards."
OSHA has inspected O.S. Kelly 22 times since 1973 with multiple serious and repeat citations issued. A 2005 inspection also found silica overexposures, as well as a number of other safety and health violations.
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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