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Region 3 News Release: III-02-05-02-040-WVA
Thurs., May 2, 2002
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: (215) 861-5102
After Hours: (610) 522-9484
Penalties For Spencer, W.Va. Company
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lack of fall protection, machinery hazards, and violations of other safety standards at Spencer Veneer, LLC, in Spencer, W. Va., have prompted the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue citations to the company and propose penalties of $123,000 for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
According to Stanley H. Elliott, area director of the Charleston, W.Va. OSHA office, the company received two willful violations with a proposed penalty of $70,000, seven serious violations with a penalty of $23,000, three repeat violations with a penalty of $30,000 and one other-than serious violation which carried no penalty.
"The willful violations address fall hazards at the plant," said Elliott. "Employees who work and travel on an elevated platform lacked any railing protection and exposed workers to falls ranging from nine to 15 feet."
The serious violations related to noise exposure, failure to use lockout/tagout procedures, inadequate machine guarding, egress hazards and large accumulations of waste veneer which blocked access to electrical disconnects. One additional violation concerns a missing section of flooring. The other-than-serious violation addresses a guarding issue.
The repeat violations were issued for housekeeping issues, fall protection and lack of dikes around fuel storage tanks. These violations were previously cited in a Jan. 2001 inspection.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Serious violations involve a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to decide to comply, request and informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the Charleston OSHA office, 405 Capitol St., Suite 407, Charleston, W.Va. 25301-1727, telephone (302) 347-5937.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative 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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