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Region 3 News Release: III-99-01-27-007-PA
Wednesday, January 27, 1999
Contact: Leni Uddyback, (215) 596-1130
OSHA ISSUES SAFETY AND HEALTH CITATIONS TO SAXONBURG, PA COMPANY; PROPOSES PENALTIES TOTALING $18,000
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ESM II, Inc. of Saxonburg, Pa. for alleged violations of occupational safety and health standards, and proposed $18,000 in penalties. ESM is a magnesium blending company employing 50 workers.
The inspection was initiated in October 1998 in response to a magnesium fire, which required several days for extinguishment. No employees were injured.
According to Robert Szymanski, area director of the Pittsburgh OSHA office, ESM II, Inc. was cited for two serious violations, with a proposed penalty of $18,000 and one-other- than serious citation, which carried no proposed penalty.
The serious violations were due to the company's failure to prevent the magnesium from contacting water or moisture, which reacts with the magnesium to create hydrogen gas; not requiring employees to wear non-conductive footwear; using unapproved powered industrial trucks in areas where magnesium was blended and not entirely enclosing electrical boxes.
The company was also cited for having an incomplete emergency response plan and not training employees to handle workplace emergencies, as well as routine safety violations including: inadequate guardrails on elevated work platforms, inadequate lockout/tagout program for maintenance operations, discharged fire extinguishers, lack of training in the operation of portable fire extinguishers, lack of fire alarm, unguarded belts and pulleys and improper container labeling for hazardous chemicals.
"Once ESM corrects the problems we've cited, they will be better prepared to prevent similar accidental fires in the future, as well as enhance the overall safety of their workers," says Szymanski.
A serious violation involves a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The firm has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either decide to comply, to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the Pittsburgh Area Office, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., (412) 395-4903.
This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD). Telephone: 1-800-927-9273.
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