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Region 4 News Release: 10-1072-ATL (467)
Aug. 9, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino       Michael Wald
Email: D'Aquino.Michael@dol.gov    Wald.Michael@dol.gov
Phone: 404-562-2076      404-562-2078

US Labor Department's OSHA cites AAR Summa Technology in Huntsville,
Ala., with proposed penalties of $191,500 for 22 safety and health violations

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 22 citations against AAR Summa Technology for exposing workers to safety and health hazards at its Huntsville plant. Proposed penalties total $191,500.

"Management needs to show a commitment to worker safety and health consistent with this company's ranking as one of the top defense contractors in the world," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham, Ala.

OSHA began its inspection in February after receiving a complaint about hazards at the facility, which produces military aircraft parts. Two willful safety violations were issued for failing to provide proper lockout/tagout procedures of energy sources for workers performing maintenance and service functions on machinery, and for failing to provide protective machine guards on equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Sixteen serious safety violations were issued for failing to repair or replace hooks used to lift and hold shop fabricated lifting devices, allowing materials to obstruct the exit pathways, failing to properly maintain machinery, exposing workers to electrical hazards, failing to train workers on hazards associated with aluminum dust, and using excessively pressurized compressed air to clean off parts.

Three serious health violations were issued for exposing workers to noise hazards, failing to perform audiometric tests on employees and failing to train workers on hazards related to noise. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

A repeat health violation was issued for failing to provide a site-specific written respiratory protection program. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's area office, 950 22nd St. N., Suite 150, Birmingham, AL 35203; telephone 205-731-1534. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.


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