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Region 1 News Release: 09-419-BOS/BOS 2009-113
Fri., April 24, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA proposes more than $44,000 in fines against New Bedford, Mass., rubber products manufacturer

BRAINTREE, Mass. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited F&B Rubberized Inc. of New Bedford, Mass., for 34 alleged violations of safety and health standards at its Washburn Street plant. The rubber products manufacturer faces $44,250 in proposed fines for mechanical, electrical, burn, fall and other hazards found during OSHA inspections initiated in November 2008.

"These citations address a cross-section of manufacturing-related safety and health hazards that need to be addressed effectively and continuously to prevent injuries and illnesses, and ensure the health and safety of the workers at this plant," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.

OSHA's inspection identified hazards including locked exits, obstructed exit access and an unmarked exit; lack of welding screens and personal protective equipment for welders; untrained forklift operators; excess carbon monoxide levels from forklifts; and numerous electrical safety deficiencies including exposed live electrical parts.

These conditions resulted in the issuance of 31 serious citations, with $43,750 in proposed penalties. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. The company also has been issued three other-than-serious citations, with a $500 fine, for no injury and illness logs; lack of dust masks; and missing or illegible forklift data plates.

F&B Rubberized Inc. 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 inspection was conducted by OSHA's Boston South Area Office in Braintree, telephone 617-565-6924.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful 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


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