Lack of Dust Masks, 33 Other Violations Found at Rubber Products Plant

OSHA has cited F&B Rubberized Inc., a New Bedford, Mass.-based manufacturer of rubber products, for 34 alleged violations of safety and health standards at its plant in New Bedford, Mass. The company faces $44,250 in proposed fines for mechanical, electrical, burn, fall, and other hazards found during agency inspections initiated in November 2008.

"These citations address a cross-section of manufacturing-related safety and health hazards that need to be addressed effectively and continuously to prevent injuries and illnesses, and ensure the health and safety of the workers at this plant," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeaster Massachusetts."

OSHA's inspection identified hazards including locked exits, obstructed exit access, and an unmarked exit; lack of welding screens and personal protective equipment for welders; untrained forklift operators; excess carbon monoxide levels from forklifts; and numerous electrical safety deficiencies including exposed live electrical parts. These conditions resulted in the issuance of 31 serious citations, with $43,750 in proposed penalties. The company also has been issued three other-than-serious citations, with a $500 fine, for no injury and illness logs; lack of dust masks; and missing or illegible forklift data plates.

F&B has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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