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Region 3 News Release:     III-02-10-21-130-PGH
Mon., Oct. 21, 2002
Contact: Kate Dugan
Phone: (215) 861-5101
After Hours: (610) 522-9484

Swissvale, Pa. Company Faces $101,500 In OSHA Fines For Repeated Employee Exposure To Worksite Hazards

SWISSVALE, Pa. -- Insufficient employee training and a deficient energy control system were among the repeat hazards identified by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in citations issued today against Babcock Lumber Company, Swissvale, Pa. Proposed penalties total $101,500.

Babcock Lumber Company manufactures wooden doors and counter tops. OSHA initiated an investigation at the company's Swissvale site on May 20 in response to an employee complaint regarding an amputation injury.

Citations were issued for six repeat violations, with a proposed penalty of $77,000, and nine serious violations with a proposed penalty of $24,500. The repeat violations relate to inspections conducted in 2000 and 2001.

"By not correcting previously-identified hazards, Babcock Lumber compromised the safety and health of its employees," said Robert P. Syzmanski, area director of the Pittsburgh OSHA office. "Immediate abatement is vital to prevent future accidents."

Alleged repeat violations include: the company's failure to conduct a personal protective equipment (PPE) hazard assessment for employees handling hazardous materials; unguarded open-sided floors; the lack of forklift certification; and a deficient lockout/tagout system to prevent the inadvertent release of energy when equipment is undergoing maintenance or repair.

The alleged serious violations were for unsafe passageways, blocked exits, defective forklifts, the lack of PPE and powered industrial truck training, the company's failure to use safety glasses or lockout/tagout devices, unapproved powered industrial truck modifications, and the lack of a hazard communications program.

A repeat violation is one in which the employer has been cited during the past three years for substantially similar infractions. A serious violation is one where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, involving a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to 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 investigation was conducted by the Pittsburgh OSHA office, Wm. S. Moorhead Federal Building -- Room 804, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222. Phone: 412-395-4903.

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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