Region 2 News Release: 12-102-NEW/BOS 2012-011
Jan. 27, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Syracuse, NY, metal finishing plant
for repeat and serious safety violations after employee burned
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Anthony River Inc. for nine serious and three repeat violations of workplace safety standards after an employee was burned at the metal finisher's Syracuse plant.
"While it is fortunate that no life was lost here, this is a graphic example of the harm that workers and businesses can suffer when basic, common-sense and legally required safeguards are neglected," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse.
On Sept. 20, flammable vapors ignited in a storage room holding more than 800 gallons of flammable liquids, and a plant employee who tried to extinguish the fire sustained burns that were not life-threatening. OSHA's inspection identified several safety deficiencies involving the storage and dispensing of flammable liquids, including a lack of ventilation in the storage room. Additionally, the room was not constructed to meet the National Fire Protection Association's required fire-resistance rating, numerous containers of flammable liquids were open and uncovered, flammable liquids were dispensed without the nozzle and container being electrically bonded, and a lighter was allowed to be ignited in the storage room.
Other serious hazards include a lack of fire extinguisher training, blocked fire extinguisher access, ungrounded electrical equipment, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals, and uninspected and unrated overhead hoists and lifting devices. The serious violations carry a total of $33,000 in fines. 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.
The repeat violations, carrying $18,680 in fines, involve hazards similar to those cited against the company by OSHA in 2010 and 2011, including the lack of an operating sprinkler system for a paint spray booth where flammable paint was used, the accumulation of combustible residue on paint spray booths and the use of an extension cord in place of fixed wiring. 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.
"Hazards can be eliminated by an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to identify and prevent hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's New York regional administrator.
Proposed penalties total $51,680. Anthony River Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA 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 Syracuse Area Office at 315-451-0808.
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.