Region 1 News Release: 11-1295-BOS/BOS 2011-311
Sept. 8, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $176,000 in fines
against Stowe Woodward LLC for hazards at Concord, NH, plant
CONCORD, N.H. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Stowe Woodward LLC for 16 violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection at its Concord plant. The company, which refurbishes large metal rolls for the paper industry, faces $176,000 in proposed penalties.
Inspectors found several instances where operating machinery – including grinders, extruders and lathes – lacked proper guarding to prevent workers from coming in contact with moving parts. The machines also lacked adequate procedures to lock out their power sources to prevent unintended startup during maintenance. As a result of these conditions, the company was cited for two willful violations with $125,000 in fines. 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.
"The sizable fines proposed here reflect both the severity of these hazards and the fact that the company was well aware of the machine guarding and lockout hazards," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "Stowe Woodward has been cited in the past for similar or equivalent hazards, including citations issued in 2005 and 1999 for machinery-related fatalities at its facilities in Louisiana and Georgia. For the safety and health of its workers, this employer must take effective steps to correct and prevent these hazards not only in Concord but at its other locations."
Eleven serious violations with $49,000 in fines involve a lack of frequent crane inspections, ungrounded fans, inadequately guarded grinders, propane cylinders stored near an exit door, blocked access to an electrical disconnect panel, respiratory protection deficiencies and the company's failure to inspect forklifts. 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.
Three other-than-serious violations with $2,000 in fines were cited for inadequate record keeping. 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.
The Stowe Woodward LLC citations are available at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/StoweWoodwardLLC_314046335_0906_11.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/StoweWoodwardLLC_29229_0906_11.pdf.*
Stowe Woodward LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Concord Area Office; telephone 603-225-1629. 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.
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.