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Region 6 News Release: 12-853-DAL
May 23, 2012
Contact: Elizabeth Todd      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Pallet Repair Services for exposing
employees to amputation hazards, other safety violations in Converse, Texas

CONVERSE, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Pallet Repair Services S.A. Inc. with 13 serious and three other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to amputation hazards and other safety violations at its facility in Converse. Proposed penalties total $48,900.

"Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthful working environment," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in San Antonio. "OSHA's standards must be followed to avoid accidents and injuries."

OSHA's San Antonio Area Office began an investigation on Feb. 2 at the company's Interstate Highway 10 location as part of its Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on industries with high injury and illness rates. Workers were engaged in the manufacturer of wood pallets without adequate protection from rotating machine parts, electrical hazards and other dangers.

Serious violations include failing to provide machine guarding to prevent amputations while working with rotating blades; provide guarding over rotating shafts on trim saws; implement fall protection safeguards, such as guardrails that are useful in elevated areas; keep areas around electrical equipment clear of debris; ensure unused openings on electrical distribution panels were closed properly; and provide a hearing conservation program when noise levels in work areas exceed 85 decibels. 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 other-than-serious violations include failing to properly record occupational injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log and to annually certify the 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.

The company, which employs about 37 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties 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 San Antonio office at 210-472-5040.

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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