OSHA Presses Printing Plant for Improvements, Fines Facility $62,350

OSHA has cited Worldcolor Buffalo for 27 alleged violations of safety and health standards at its Depew, N.Y., printing facility. The company faces a total of $62,350 in proposed fines following OSHA inspections begun in October 2009.

Specifically, the agency found instances of improper transfer and storage of flammable liquids; lack of specific lockout/tagout procedures and training to prevent the unintended startup of machines during maintenance; lack of hearing protection; inadequate respirator training, fit-testing, medical evaluation, inspection, and maintenance; unguarded grinders; blocked access to electrical boxes; electrical equipment not safely maintained in hazardous locations; and accumulation of combustible dust in a work area.

"Our inspections identified a cross-section of safety and health hazards that must be effectively addressed for the well-being of the workers at this plant," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "Left uncorrected, they expose workers to the risk of lacerations, amputation, burns, hearing loss, exposure to asbestos, electric shock, or being caught or trapped in confined spaces or operating machinery."

In addition, OSHA said the plant lacked a written program and training for employees whose duties require entry into confined spaces; failed to inform workers of the presence of asbestos containing insulation on steam pipes; and failed to provide the Hepatitis B vaccine and training to workers whose duties involved exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.

These conditions resulted in the company being issued 24 serious citations, with $61,350 in fines. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. OSHA also issued three other-than-serious citations, with a fine of $1,000, for inadequate recordkeeping, fire extinguisher training, and exposure monitoring.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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