OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Mohawk Metal Products Company, Inc., of Acme Road, Frankfort, New York, and proposed penalties of $72,900 against the firm for six alleged repeat violations, 28 alleged serious violations, and six alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until January 28 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane M. Brayden, the action results from an investigation begun following an accident on September 21, in which an employee was seriously burned. The mishap at the plant, which manufactures large bulk storage tanks, occurred when flammable vapors ignited in the tank in which he was working.
The firm was cited for six alleged repeat violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $21,600. A repeat violation is one for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The employer was charged with the following violations, which had also been cited in July, 1996:
failure to provide electrical equipment approved for use in hazardous locations;
failure to provide unobstructed exits;
failure to utilize fire-resistive material in the construction of an inside flammable-storage room;
failure to electrically ground containers during the transfer of flammable liquids;
failure to provide flameproof screens to protect employees during welding;
failure to periodically inspect the company's lockout-tagout program designed to prevent the accidental start-up of machinery during servicing or repair.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
failure to identify and evaluate the hazards of entering confined spaces;
failure to have practices to allow safe entry into confined spaces, including purging, ventilating, and atmospheric testing;
failure to ensure that the entry supervisor verified that proper equipment and procedures were in place before employees entered a tank;
failure to utilize electrical equipment and wiring suitable for use in possible explosive atmospheres;
failure to ensure the use of personal protective equipment;
failure to provide an emergency eye wash station where a corrosive chemical is used;
failure to provide guarding on rotating parts and nip points, belts, pulleys, chains on machinery, and saws;
failure to provide appropriate respiratory protection for abrasive blasting operations;
failure to have specific procedures and the necessary locks, hasps and valve locks on hand in order to carry out a lockout-tagout program.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $51,300.
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.
This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (212) 337-2319;
TDD phone: 800-347-8029;
OASAM TDD message referral phone number: 800-326-2577.
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