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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: NY 168
July 11, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
OSHA PROPOSES $278,350 IN PENALTIES AGAINST KEARNY, NEW JERSEY, ALUMINUM BAT FACTORY FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND SERIOUS VIOLATIONS
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Modern Metals Corporation, of 65 Passaic Avenue, Kearny, New Jersey, and proposed penalties of $278,250 against the firm for six alleged willful and 48 alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until July 31 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director David Ippolito, the action results from an investigation conducted from January 13 to June 14 in response to an employee complaint of unsafe conditions at the plant, which employs about 75 workers making aluminum baseball bats.
"This employer, despite being notified of the potential danger, knowingly allowed employees to operate numerous machines without adequate guarding, and knowingly failed to ensure that employees wore protective eye equipment when exposed to flying pieces of metal," Ippolito noted.
OSHA cited the company for failing to ensure that employees wore eye protection, failing to train employees on the hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace, and for various specific instances of unguarded dangerous machinery. The alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $202,100.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
failing to keep work areas free from obstructions, dry, and clear of tripping hazards;
failing to remove defective ladders from service;
failing to provide adequate and properly marked emergency exits;
failing to provide lavatories in sanitary condition and supplied with hot water, soap, and towels;
failing to have effective lockout-tagout procedures to prevent the accidental start-up of machinery during maintenance or servicing;
failing to train employees in the safe use of fire extinguishers;
failing to train employees in the safe operation of industrial trucks;
failing to inspect hoists and cranes, chains, and slings for defects and wear;
failing to equip power presses with foot-actuating devices having non-slip surfaces and appropriate guards;
failing to have required guards on band saws, mechanical power presses, bending machines, metal drawing machines, horizontal shafts, belts and pulleys, and grinding machines;
failing to repair damaged welding cables;
failing to repair machines on which employees were receiving electrical shocks;
failing to guard open-sided pits and open-surface tanks into which workers could fall;
failing to have adequate drains and overflow-prevention construction on dip tanks;
failing to provide emergency eye and body-flushing facilities;
failing to provide hard hats or protective gloves where required;
failing to have a respiratory protection program, including ensuring that correct respirators were issued, that employees were medically fit to wear them, that respirators fit correctly to provide adequate protection, and to provide employees train in their correct use;
failing to establish correct procedures for entry into hazardous confined spaces.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $76,250.
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.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Parsippany area office, located at 299 Cherry Hill Road, suite 304, Parsippany, New Jersey, telephone (973) 263-1003.
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