OSHA cites New York stainless steel fabricator for hazardous conditions

RP news wires

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cannon Industries Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Rochester, N.Y., plant. The stainless steel fabricator faces a total of $71,000 in proposed fines for hazardous energy control, machine guarding and electrical hazards.

OSHA's inspection found that workers performing service and maintenance on various machines had not been adequately trained in hazardous energy control, and had not affixed lockout devices to machines before performing service and maintenance. In addition, brakes on mechanical power presses were not guarded to prevent employees from being caught in their moving parts. OSHA had cited the company in December 2007 for similar hazards. As a result, OSHA now has issued the company three repeat citations with $42,000 in proposed fines for these recurring hazards. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

"OSHA's hazardous energy control standard requires that machines' power sources be isolated and locked out to prevent their unintended activation during service or maintenance," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "Failure to train workers and follow proper procedures exposes these employees to potential serious injury or death."

The company also has been issued six serious citations with $29,000 in fines for newly identified conditions, including failing to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures; steel lifting slings not labeled with their lifting capacity and other required information; no inspection records for lifting slings; unguarded moving machine parts; misused electrical equipment; and an exposed electrical conductor. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"One means of eliminating hazards such as these is for employers to establish an illness and injury prevention program in which workers and management work together continuously to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

Cannon Industries Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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