US Labor Department's OSHA cites Philadelphia-based FixtureOne for 44 workplace safety and health violations

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited FixtureOne for 44 safety and health violations at its facility located at 7601 Edmund St. in Philadelphia. The company manufactures institutional furniture and employs about 65 workers. Proposed penalties total $169,400 following an inspection that began Jan. 10.

Seven repeat violations with penalties of $41,580 include an inadequate hazard communications program; a lack of machine guarding; use of electrical equipment in an unapproved area; and the company's failure to conduct a medical evaluation for use of respirators, implement a respirator program, and provide appropriate respirator fit-testing. The company was cited for the same violations in 2008. A repeat violation exists 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.

Thirty-six serious violations with penalties of $127,820 include a lack of machine guarding and personal protective equipment; safety issues with mechanical power presses; electrical hazards; a lack of housekeeping; and the company's failure to properly store respirators; provide safe egress; and provide training for employees operating forklifts. 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.

One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was cited for failure to provide mandatory information to employees who voluntarily wear respirators while conducting paint spraying operations. 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.

"FixtureOne's refusal to correct these previously cited violations continually places its workers in harm's way and must change immediately," said Albert D'Imperio, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "OSHA will continue its efforts to hold this company responsible for not complying with federal laws."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Philadelphia office; telephone 215-597-4955. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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