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Region 5 News Release: 11-1680-CHI
Dec. 13, 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 fines Heat Seal in Cleveland $95,000 for 15
safety and health violations, including lack of machine guards on press brakes

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Heat Seal LLC in Cleveland with 15 safety and health violations, including one willful safety violation for failing to ensure machine points of operation were guarded. OSHA initiated the inspection Aug. 31 after receiving a complaint alleging that there were no guards on press brakes. Proposed fines total $95,200.

"There is simply no excuse for Heat Seal not to ensure that its workers are protected against the moving parts of dangerous machines, and provide them with proper safety procedures and training," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

The willful safety violation is for failing to ensure that points of operation were guarded on four press brakes and one shear. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Nine serious safety violations are for failing to guard foot pedals on press brakes, train employees on the use of a portable fire extinguisher, train employees on the operation of powered industrial trucks and conduct weekly press inspections. Additionally, three violations of lockout/tagout standards were cited, including failing to develop machine-specific procedures, lock out the energy sources of equipment prior to maintenance and train employees. One serious health violation was cited for failing to implement a hearing conservation program. 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.

Additionally, Heat Seal was cited for two other-than-serious health violations for failing to monitor hexavelent chromium exposure and train workers on the hazards of hexavalent chromium exposure. 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.

Heat Seal 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 Cleveland Area Office at 216-615-4266.

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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