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Region 5 News Release: 13-607-CHI
April 9, 2013
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 Universal Industries in
Tomahawk, Wis., for 8 safety violations; proposes $61,600 in fines

TOMAHAWK, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Universal Industries LLC in Tomahawk with eight safety violations, including a failure-to-abate, for not enrolling workers in a hearing conservation program. OSHA initiated its follow-up inspection in November 2012. Proposed fines total $61,600.

"Universal Industries has a responsibility to protect the long-term health of its workers by ensuring they are enrolled in a hearing conservation program and conducting follow-up evaluations," said Frank Winingham, OSHA's area director in Appleton. "Employers who are cited for repeat and failure-to-abate citations demonstrate a lack of commitment to worker safety and health."

The company was issued a citation for failing to have a hearing conservation program in February 2011. The company reached a settlement agreement with OSHA in December 2011, but failed to provide the required abatement documentation to show that they had implemented the hearing program.

Two repeat violations were cited for not having a hazard communication program, and for making modifications to a forklift without manufacturer's approval. 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. Similar violations were cited in February 2011.

Four serious violations were cited for not having a respiratory protection program, exposing workers to fall hazards from an unguarded work platform, lacking carbon monoxide alarms on compressors that supply breathing air, failing to certify worker training on a forklift and to ensure nameplates were attached to forklifts indicating vehicle capacity. 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, the company was issued one other-than-serious violation for not having a written energy control program. 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.

Universal Industries 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 Appleton Area Office at 901-734-4521.

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.


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