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Region 5 News Release: 11-939-CHI
June 28, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-4807
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites R & B Grinding Co. in Racine, Wis.,
for safety and health violations; nearly $106,000 proposed in fines

RACINE, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited R & B Grinding Co. Inc. in Racine for 24 alleged safety and health violations. The manufacturing company faces penalties of $105,930.

"Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces, and ensuring employees are provided with a safe and healthful work environment," said George Yoksas, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "OSHA is committed to ensuring employers abide by its safety and health regulations."

One repeat safety violation with a proposed penalty of $24,750 was cited when investigators found that foot pedals for machines were not protected from accidental operation. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. R & B Grinding Co. was cited for the same violation in 2007.

Sixteen serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $69,300 include exposing workers to struck-by hazards; having an inadequate lockout/tagout program for energy sources to prevent machinery from starting up unexpectedly; modifying a forklift without the written permission of the manufacturer; lacking adequate machine guarding; and missing electrical switch covers and other electrical violations.

Two serious health violations with proposed penalties of $11,880 include failing to provide audiograms for all employees with noise exposure and to provide employees with hearing conservation training. A serious violation occurs 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.

One other-than-serious safety violation was cited for failing to provide strain relief on electrical cords. Four other-than-serious health violations were cited for failing to provide a written respiratory program, medical examinations and fit-tests to employees required to use respirators. These five violations do not carry monetary penalties. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

R & B Grinding has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Milwaukee Area Office at 414-297-3315. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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 ensure 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 news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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