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Region 8 News Release: 12-1564-DAK
Aug. 7, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen     Rhonda Burke
Phone:        312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov     burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Adams Thermal Systems in Canton, S.D.,
with 51 violations for exposing workers to variety of safety and health hazards
Company placed in OSHA's severe violator program; proposed fines total $225,000

CANTON, S.D. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Adams Thermal Systems Inc. in Canton with 51 safety and health violations following a February inspection prompted by a complaint alleging multiple concerns at the coolant core manufacturing facility. Proposed penalties total $225,000.

"The multitude of violations found during this inspection demonstrates this employer's serious shortcomings toward a commitment to providing a safe and healthful workplace," said Eric Brooks, OSHA's acting area director in Bismarck, N.D. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

A total of 44 serious safety violations cited include failing to provide proper housekeeping, mark emergency exits and keep pathways free and unobstructed; ensure that lockout devices prevented unintended equipment startup; provide fall protection on open-sided platforms, machine guard pulleys, belts and saws; conduct and document forklift and crane inspections; remove defective rigging equipment from services; properly store gas cylinders; provide safety training and label hazardous gas piping. One serious health violation cited is for failing to use personal protective equipment identified on a hazard assessment and ensure that the equipment fits affected workers. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Three other-than-serious safety violations cited involve the labeling of overhead storage areas, confined space evaluation and sprinkler head clearance distance. Three other-than-serious health violations include a lack of record keeping and noise monitoring programs, and chemical exposures. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a relationship to job safety and health but would not directly cause death or serious physical harm.

Prior to this inspection, Adams Thermal Systems had been inspected by OSHA five times since 2004, including a fatality investigation opened in November 2011 during which citations were issued for lockout of machine energy sources and machine guarding violations. That case is currently being contested by the employer.

Due to the previous fatality and nature of the current hazards, OSHA has placed Adams Thermal Systems in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on the program, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.

The current citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AdamsThermalSystems_280914_242660_0806_12.pdf*.

Adams Thermal Systems Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the 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 Bismarck Area Office at 701-250-4521.

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 or CD 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.


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