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Region 5 News Release: 11-1494-CHI
Oct. 31, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-4807
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites USUI International Corp. in Monroe,
Ohio, for repeatedly failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures

MONROE, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited USUI International Corp. in Monroe for 13 safety and health violations, including two repeat violations for failing to enforce and train workers in lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from starting up during maintenance. Proposed fines total $90,600.

"Employers whose injury and illness rates exceed national averages and who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health," said Bill Wilkerson, director of OSHA's Cincinnati Area Office. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers are trained in necessary safety precautions for their assigned daily tasks, which must include training on lockout/tagout procedures for employees who conduct maintenance on equipment. OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

Two repeat safety violations involve failing to train a production employee on the safe application, usage and removal of energy controls for the calibration machine he was operating, and for failing to ensure that a worker locked out energy sources before inspecting and cleaning the performance tester machine. 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. The company was cited for the same violations in May and June 2010 at the Monroe facility.

Five serious safety violations involve failing to inspect and train employees in the use of personal protective gear, electrical hazards, the lack of machine guarding and exposing workers who were cleaning a plastic molding machine hopper to a fall hazard greater than 7 feet. Additionally, two serious health violations involve failing to conduct hazard communication and noise abatement training for workers. 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.

Four other-than-serious safety and health violations involve having a blocked exit route, failing to post noise standards and failing to record injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log. 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.

A review of OSHA 300 logs for 2007, 2008 and 2009 revealed that the company had an injury and illness rate more than twice the national average for all three years. In addition to the lockout/tagout violations cited in 2010, the company also was cited for machine guarding and powered industrial truck violations.

USUI International Corp. is an automotive parts supplier that manufactures fuel line metal tubing and plastic fan blades for machinery. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Cincinnati office at 513-841-4132.

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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