Fireproof Door Maker Cited for 76 Violations, Faces $382,500 in Fines

Gen-Cap Industries Inc., a manufacturer of fireproof doors, faces a total of $382,500 in proposed fines from OSHA for 76 alleged safety and health violations at its plant in the Bronx, including 14 instances of failing to correct hazards cited in previous agency inspections.

OSHA opened follow-up inspections in May 2007 to verify correction of hazards cited in November 2004, when the plant operated as JGB LLC, doing business as General Fireproof Doors. As a result of its latest inspections, the agency issued the company 14 notices for failure to abate, with $288,000 in proposed fines; 13 repeat citations, with $27,600 in fines; and 49 serious citations, with $66,900 in fines.

The failure to abate notices include Gen-Cap's failing to develop a program and supply training and equipment to ensure that machines' power sources were shut down and locked out to prevent their accidental startup during maintenance; unguarded press brakes and welding machines; no eyewash facilities where required; no fire extinguisher training; no shielding on a spot welding machine to minimize burn hazards; and no hazard communication program and training. The plant was supposed to have corrected these hazards but did not do so, OSHA said.

The repeat citations were issued for the company's lack of a hearing conservation program; sprinklers not kept free of paint deposits; failure to clean accumulated combustible debris; improper disposal of combustible material; failure to enforce the use of eye, face, and foot protection; unsanitary bathrooms and toilets; no lead cleaning schedule; an unprotected electrical outlet; and unguarded grinders. The plant had been cited for substantially similar hazards in 2004.

Among the 49 serious citations, the company was cited for blocked, unmarked or unilluminated exits; blocked fire extinguisher access; no fire extinguisher for a battery charging area; a defective powered industrial truck; crane safety defects; numerous instances of unguarded machinery; a variety of electrical hazards; unsecured compressed gas cylinders; unbonded containers of flammables; uncleaned paint spray booth walls; defective respirators; inadequate personal protective equipment training and use; no respirator program; and no welding shield.

"Left uncorrected, this mixture of new, ongoing and, uncorrected hazards exposes employees to potential injury or death from fire, explosion, laceration, amputation, electrocution, chemical burns, hearing loss, and crushing," said Diana Cortez, director of OSHA's area office in Tarrytown, N.Y., which conducted the inspections. "The sizable fines proposed here reflect the scope and seriousness of these conditions and the need for them to be promptly and effectively addressed."

Gen-Cap has until Dec. 12 to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director or to contest these citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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