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Region 5 News Release: V-118
June 14, 1999
Contact: Rob Medlock / Thomas Pontuti
PHONE : (215) 596-1147
Proposed Penalty Totals $188,000
OSHA ISSUES CITATIONS TO SEALY MATTRESS COMPANY, MEDINA, OHIO, FOR ALLEGED WORKPLACE SAFETY VIOLATIONS
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations alleging four serious, two willful, two repeat and two other-than-serious safety violations to the Sealy Mattress Company, Medina, Ohio, with proposed penalties totaling $188,000.
According to OSHA Area Director Rob Medlock, Cleveland, OSHA's investigation at the Sealy plant began Jan. 12 based on a complaint received by OSHA which referenced the amputation of an employee trainee's hand while working on a panel cutter in the company's sewing department.
As a result of that inspection, OSHA issued alleged willful violations addressing the lack of sufficient protection through proper training and the lack of lockout/tagout procedures to insure employees were not exposed to dangerous, moving parts. OSHA also alleged serious violations including blocked aisles and passageways; failure to perform necessary hazard assessments and employee training on needed personal protective equipment; lack of adequate emergency medical care procedures; inadequate guarding of blades; and improperly wired electrical outlets.
Citations were issued for repeat violations involving guarding of pulley and belt systems on machines where employees were exposed to hazards; and the lack of a bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan to insure first aid responders are protected. OSHA also cited Sealy for other-than-serious violations involving the lack of a written emergency action plan and periodic inspection of the company's current lockout/tagout program.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one in which the evidence shows either an intentional violation or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A serious violation is one in which there was a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm that could result from a hazardous condition and the employer knew or had the capability of knowing of the hazard.
Repeat violations are issued for substantially similar hazards identified and cited in a previous inspection within the last three years, and an other-than-serious violation is defined as one where the most serious injury or illness that would be likely to result cannot be reasonably predicted to cause death or serious physical harm but does have a direct and immediate relationship to safety and health.
Sealy Mattress Company has fifteen working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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