Connecticut manufacturer faces $42,500 in OSHA fines

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations to Insulpane of Connecticut Inc. for a range of safety hazards at its Hamden, Conn., glass manufacturing plant. Proposed fines total $42,500.

OSHA cited Insulpane of Connecticut for a total of 34 alleged serious and other-than-serious violations of safety standards following an inspection begun January 4, 2007, under the federal job safety agency’s Site Specific Targeting program that focuses inspections on workplaces with higher than average injury or illness rates.

“These citations encompass hazards that are, unfortunately, all too common in a manufacturing environment,” said Robert Kowalski, OSHA’s area director for southwestern Connecticut. “If such conditions are left uncorrected, they can expose employees to lacerations and crushing injuries, electrocution, fire, explosions, or being caught in moving machine parts or struck by forklifts.”

OSHA’s inspection identified instances of unguarded or inadequately guarded moving machine parts and power tools; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; lack of an emergency action plan and training; lack of lockout/tagout procedures and training; failure to assess the workplace for hazards that require the use of personal protective equipment; inadequate hazard communication; defects involving cranes, slings and powered industrial trucks; electrical hazards; an obstructed aisle; and failing to maintain work areas in a clean, orderly, sanitary and dry condition.

These conditions resulted in 29 serious citations, carrying $41,500 in proposed fines. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company was also issued five other-than-serious citations, with an additional $1,000 proposed fine, for incomplete recording of occupational injuries and illnesses, improper exit signage and deficiencies involving respiratory protection and hand tools. Kowalski stressed the importance of accurate recording of work-related injuries and illnesses as a marker for identifying and correcting potentially hazardous conditions that may hurt employees.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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