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Region 2 News Release: 11-1254-NEW/BOS 2011-296
Aug. 24, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Altamont, NY, manufacturer
for repeat, serious and other hazards; proposes more than $49,000 in fines

ALBANY, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Met Weld International LLC of Altamont for 21 alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards. The company, which manufactures and engineers power generation process systems, faces a total of $49,210 in proposed fines following inspections of its plant on Ostrander Road begun in April.

"The inspection identified a cross section of hazards that expose employees to the dangers of fire, lacerations, insufficient respiratory protection, hearing loss, being struck by a vehicle and being caught in unexpectedly activated machinery," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's area director in Albany. "It is imperative that the employer address these conditions promptly and take effective steps to prevent them from recurring."

Eight serious violations carrying $28,910 in proposed fines involve a storage cabinet for flammable liquids that did not meet fire resistance requirements, an auger that did not have its power source locked out to prevent its activation while employees cleared jams, blocked and unmounted fire extinguishers, a lack of fire extinguisher training, a nonworking horn on a powered industrial truck, an unsecured power press, an unguarded grinder, and the lack of a high temperature or carbon monoxide alarm on a compressor used to supply breathing air to a respirator. 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.

Two repeat violations with $12,600 in fines involve conditions similar to those cited in a 2006 OSHA inspection: a lack of an effective hearing conservation program, and not providing medical evaluations and fit-testing for employees using respirators. 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.

Finally, 11 other-than-serious violations with $7,700 in fines involve incomplete or incorrect recording of occupational injuries, tripping hazards and a missing respirator tag. 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.

"Establishing an injury and illness prevention program in which workers and management continually identify and eliminate hazardous conditions can prevent hazards such as these," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

Met Weld International LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Albany Area Office; telephone 518-464-4338. 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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