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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: BOS 2003-006
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
Federal Safety Violations Carry a Proposed $133,500 Penalty
SYRACUSE -- An East Syracuse, N.Y. company exposed employees to an extensive list of safety hazards, including unguarded moving machinery and electrocution hazards, according to citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Proposed penalties total $133,500 for New Venture Gear of New York, LLC, which produces transfer cases for 4-wheel drive vehicles. OSHA is citing the company for 32 alleged violations of the safety standards.
OSHA conducted the inspection from Aug. 6 through Jan. 3, as part of its "site-specific targeting program," under which it inspects certain worksites with high rates of lost workday injuries and illnesses. The company was previously inspected in 1999 under a similar program and was issued citations with a proposed penalty of more than $100,000 at that time.
"OSHA standards are aimed at keeping the workplace safe and healthy," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "This employer placed workers at risk by not eliminating hazards that had been pointed out more than two years ago."
According to Diane Brayden, OSHA's area director in Syracuse, 27 of the citations were classified as serious. Examples include failure to provide fall protection on aerial lifts, failure to maintain dry floors and failure to guard floor openings. Poor maintenance was also cited for ladders and stairs, fire extinguishers, exits, forklifts and slings, as well as failure to provide guarding on grinders, shafts, belts and pulleys and to maintain electrical equipment, conduit and flexible cords and guard electrical equipment.
Three alleged "repeat" violations include the company's failure to maintain overhead hoists, below the hook lifting devices and bridge rails; inadequately guarded moving parts on machinery; and inadequately guarded points of operation on machinery. Two alleged "other-than-serious" violations were cited for the company's failure to provide adequate general housekeeping and to properly maintain stairway treads.
A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat violation occurs when a company has been cited for similar violations within the past three years. And, 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.
Within15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties, the company may comply with them, may request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, and/or may contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA's Syracuse area office at 3300 Vickery Rd., North Syracuse, N.Y, conducted the investigation. The telephone number is (315) 451-0808. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.
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