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Region 5 News Release: 11-966-CHI
June 29, 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 Quality Stamping Products for
27 safety and health violations, including failing to report amputations
Company faces $426,100 in penalties, placed in OSHA's severe violator program

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Quality Stamping Products Co. in Cleveland for 27 alleged safety and health violations, including one willful violation for failing to report two amputation injuries that occurred at the company's metal stamping plant and another for lacking required hazard communication and training. The company is facing $426,100 in proposed penalties.

"Failing to take precautions, such as having proper machine guarding and using machine-specific procedures to control hazardous energy to prevent amputation injuries, demonstrates a blatant disregard for the safety of workers," said Michael Connors, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "Employers also are responsible for ensuring that proper chemical hazard training is provided to their workers, so the workers can take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from injuries and illnesses on the job."

Two employees received the injuries while operating mechanical power presses in the plant prior to OSHA's January inspection. As a result, the company was cited for a total of nine willful safety violations, which also included failing to train press operators in safe work methods, ensure the flywheels on the mechanical power presses were adequately guarded, provide point-of-operation guards, conduct weekly inspections of the power press and ensure pullout devices were properly adjusted for press operators. Three of the nine willful safety violations relate to lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources, including failing to develop and utilize machine-specific procedures to control hazardous energy, train workers in lockout/tagout procedures and ensure that lockout devices were removed by an authorized worker.

One willful health violation is for the lack of proper chemical hazard communication and training. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Twelve serious safety violations include failing to perform a required workplace hazard assessment; ensure employees had appropriate eye protection; train employees in the use of portable fire extinguishers; conduct performance evaluations for employees who operate powered industrial trucks; complete annual crane inspections; ensure proper machine guarding on the shear, spot welding machines and mechanical press; and establish die-setting procedures.

Four serious health violations include exposing employees to excessive noise, having improperly stored compressed gas cylinders and allowing various electrical safety hazards. 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 health violation was cited for failing to keep adequate records. 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.

OSHA has placed Quality Stamping Products Co. in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in June 2010, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Quality Stamping Products Co. was placed in the program for seven willful violations involving hazards covered under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations. For more information on the program, visit /pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4503*.

Prior to its January inspection, OSHA last inspected Quality Stamping Products Co. in 2005, at which time the company was cited for nine violations, including of lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the latest 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 Cleveland Area Office at 216-615-4266. 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.


* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


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