NY Display Manufacturer Cited for Willful Eye Hazards

OSHA has cited a Middletown, N.Y., manufacturer of wire, sheet metal, and other types of displays for 28 alleged willful, serious, and other-than-serious violations of safety and health standards. Flanagan Design and Display Inc. faces $70,750 in proposed fines following OSHA inspections of its Midland Avenue production facility conducted in March and April of this year.

The agency issued the company one willful citation, with a $33,000 proposed fine, for lack of required eye protection for employees operating power presses or performing cutting and grinding. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Twenty-four serious citations, carrying $34,750 in fines, were issued for missing or inadequate guarding of mechanical power presses and press brakes; uninspected power presses; ungrounded electrical equipment; lack of training for forklift operators; lack of a hearing conservation program; lack of a written respiratory protection and medical evaluation program; and lack of a lockout/tagout program to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"These citations address a cross-section of health and safety hazards associated with manufacturing," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's area director in Albany, N.Y. "Left uncorrected, these hazards expose employees to potential lacerations, amputations, electrocution, hearing loss, crushing injuries, eye injuries and being caught in the unexpected startup of machinery."

OSHA also issued the company three other-than-serious citations, with $3,000 in fines, for failing to properly maintain illness and injury logs, and for lack of a hazard communication program and training. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have an immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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