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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Crucible Specialty Metals for 71 alleged serious and repeat violations of safety and health standards following the January 15 death of a worker at the company's Syracuse, N.Y., manufacturing plant.
The employee died when he slipped while attaching a water line to a roller mill and became caught in the machine's rotating shafts. OSHA's inspection found that the machine's moving parts were not guarded against contact. The inspection also identified a wide range of additional safety and health hazards throughout the plant.
"This accident shows how even one instance of an unguarded machine can cost a worker's life," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "Safeguarding workers against death, injury or illness on the job requires that all applicable safety and health requirements be met at all times."
OSHA issued the company 68 serious citations for various fall, electrical, fire, exit access, crane, personal protective equipment, confined space and materials storage hazards as well as numerous other instances of unguarded machinery at the plant. The agency has proposed $179,000 in fines for those items. OSHA issues serious citations when death or physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
In addition, Crucible has been issued three repeat citations, with $70,200 in proposed fines, for hazards similar to those cited during prior OSHA inspections: an unguarded open-sided floor and platform, unguarded machinery and unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals. OSHA issues repeat citations when an employer previously has been cited for substantially similar hazards and those citations have become final.
"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to potential burns, explosions, crushing injuries, electrocution and falls, and must be addressed promptly, effectively and completely," said Adams. "One means of maintaining safe and healthful working conditions is to establish and implement an effective safety and health management system through which employees and management actively and continually evaluate, identify and eliminate work hazards."
Crucible Specialty Metals, which faces a combined total of $249,200 in fines, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.