ALBANY, NY – Custom cabinet and countertop maker Salko Kitchens Inc. faces fines of $51,800 for combustible dust and potential carcinogen exposure violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that workers at the New Windsor, NY-based custom woodworking firm were exposed to fire and explosion hazards and a potential occupational carcinogen due to deficient required safeguards.
"These workers face both immediate and long-term health and safety hazards from on-site conditions," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany. "The combustible dust can ignite and explode in seconds, and the methylene chloride is cancerous. For the health and well-being of its employees, it's imperative that this employer correct these hazards and take effective steps to prevent them from happening again."
Salko Kitchens for 13 serious violations of workplace health and safety standards following a December 2013 inspection by OSHA's Albany Area Office. According to the statement by OSHA, a serious violation occurs 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.
The inspection found Salko Kitchen's dust collection system was inadequate for the workload, resulting in combustible dust accumulation on plant pipes, equipment, supports and ductwork. The company was also cited for overexposing workers to methylene chloride when spraying adhesive onto the countertops and moulding by not having adequate respiratory, eye and glove protection available. According to OSHA's statement, "Overexposure to methylene chloride may result in mental confusion, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and eye and respiratory tract irritation. Long-term exposure may cause cancer and damage to the central nervous system.
"In addition, employees were exposed to electric shock from exposed wiring and crushing injuries from powered industrial trucks driven by untrained operators."
The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
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