Region 2 News Release: NY 165
July 13, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
MONTOUR FALLS, NEW YORK, CRANE MANUFACTURER CITED BY OSHA
FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $103,150 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Shepard Niles, Inc., of 250 North Genesee Street, Montour Falls, New York, and proposed penalties of $103,150 against the firm for one alleged willful and 35 alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until August 3 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane M. Brayden, the action results from an investigation carried out under OSHA's interim targeting program, which identifies high-hazard industries for inspection based on their injury and illness rates. Shepard Niles manufactures overhead cranes.
"This firm makes overhead cranes as its principal business," Brayden said. "They even provide safety inspection checklists with the cranes they sell to customers. And yet when it came to their own hoists and cranes-and they have dozens of them in use-they intentionally disregarded this basic requirement of employee safety."
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's overhead crane standard by failing to conduct frequent, periodic inspections of overhead cranes. The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $44,000.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to maintain overhead hoists;
- failure to maintain below-the-hook lifting devices in safe condition;
- failure to provide procedures and conduct periodic reviews in a program to lock out or tag-out machinery to prevent its accidental start-up during servicing or maintenance;
- failure to keep aisles and passageways clear and in good repair;
- failure to maintain emergency stops on conveyors;
- failure to guard shafts, belts, drive chains, rotating parts, nip points, and other moving parts on machinery;
- failure to reduce compressed air used for cleaning to below 30 psi;
- failure to store separately oxygen and acetylene cylinders;
- failure to provide appropriate personal protective equipment and training.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $59,150.
The firm was also cited for alleged other-than-serious violations including failure to label electrical circuit breakers, failure to maintain exit passageways, and failure to provide training and keep material safety data sheets on the hazardous substances in the workplace.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse area office, located at 3300 Vicker Road, North Syracuse, New York, telephone (315) 451-0808.
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