ALBANY, N.Y. – Testori Interiors Inc., a manufacturer of rail car interiors, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 24 violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Champlain manufacturing plant. The company faces $170,100 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA's Albany Area Office that began in March 2013 in response to a worker's complaint.
"Testori's deficient safety protocols place its workers at grave risk of injury, including amputation risks and death," said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's Albany area director. "The fact that no serious injuries resulted from these hazards is fortunate because workplace safety must be established through proactive initiative, not complacency. The large penalties proposed in this case reflect the severity of the hazards and this employer's disregard for safety."
Testori was cited for one willful violation for failure to develop, document and use lockout and tagout procedures for controlling potentially hazardous energy when workers performed maintenance on machines, such as sanders and presses. Maintenance activities, which include clearing debris from machines, changing router bits and sanding belts, and cleaning equipment, are necessary to prevent the unintended activation of machinery during these activities. This willful violation carries a $63,000 fine.
Testori was also cited for 16 serious safety violations, including failure to properly store, transfer and label flammable liquid; provide guards on saws and sanders; train workers on the proper use of a fire extinguisher; and address electrical and confined space hazards. Additionally, Testori was cited for six serious health violations, including failure to provide workers with adequate personal protective equipment and fit test respirators worn by workers. The proposed penalties for the serious violations are $106,200. One other-than-serious violation for inadequate record keeping carries a proposed penalty of $900.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/testori_health.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/testori_safety.pdf*.
A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. 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. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Testori has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Albany office at 518-464-4338. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
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