Region 2 News Release: NY 203
October 26, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
NEW PROCESS GEAR CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
AT SYRACUSE PLANT; $108,829 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited New Venture Gear Corporation, New Process Gear Division, of East Syracuse, New York, and proposed penalties of $108,829 against the firm for 47 alleged serious violations and eight alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until November 17 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane M. Brayden, the action results from an investigation carried out from April 27 through October 13 as part of OSHA's interim targeting program, under which worksites are selected for inspection based on high rates of injury during calendar year 1996. The company produces transfer cases for several brands of four-wheel-drive vehicle.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included failure to:
- inspect and maintain overhead hoists, below-the hook lifting devices, and bridge crane systems;
- implement a crane preventive maintenance program;
- guard floor openings, floor holes, and ladderway openings;
- provide adequate railings for stairways;
- keep ladders In good repair and assure their proper use;
- maintain clear exit ways;
- keep aisles clear, dry, and in good repair;
- develop machine-specific lockout-tagout procedures to prevent the accidental start-up of machines during servicing or repair, train employees in the procedures, and require their use;
- properly secure and store compressed gas cylinders;
- maintain fire extinguishers and assure their accessability;
- protect sprinkler system standpipes, and assure that standpipe hoses and reels are accessible and serviceable;
- maintain inspection reports for cranes, ropes, and hooks;
- inspect chain and nylon slings and remove defective ones from service;
- adequately guard belts, pulleys, sprockets, and other machinery;
- provide and properly adjust work rests and tongue guards on grinders;
- guard live electrical parts;
- remove damaged electrical equipment from service;
- properly label circuit breakers and keep electrical switches accessible;
- provide fall protection;
- provide annual training, proper supervision, and annual hearing tests to employees exposed to high noise levels;
- properly dispense flammable liquids and take adequate precaution against ignition;
- require the use of goggles, hand protection, and other personal protective equipment;
- adequately label and test confined spaces and train personnel who work in or around them;
- label containers of hazardous materials;
- provide emergency eyewash stations.
The firm was also cited for alleged other-than-serious violations including failure to post floor load ratings, provide safe access to equipment, and properly label exits, and for using extension cords as permanent wiring, using electrical cords with splices and loose fittings, and using electrical outlets with reversed polarity.
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 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York, telephone (315) 451-0808.
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