Electronics Firm Fined $101,700 for Failure to Abate, Repeat, Serious Violations

OSHA has cited COMPUSPAR USA Inc., a company that repairs and reworks electronic and electromechanical equipment, for failing to abate previously cited workplace safety and health violations. Specifically, OSHA says the company, which employs 76 workers at its facility in Allentown, Pa., has failed to maintain OSHA 300 logs for two years; to develop and implement a hazard communication program; to train employees on hazardous chemicals; and to develop and implement a respiratory protection program. For these violations, the agency assessed a penalty of $83,400.

"The company's refusal to abate these violations leaves its employees exposed to a variety of hazards and at risk of injury and illness," said Jean Kulp, area director of OSHA's Allentown office.

In addition, the agency assessed an additional $18,300 in penalties for other repeat and serious violations.

OSHA cited six repeat violations, which carry a penalty of $11,400, including the company's failure to maintain a material safety data sheet for hazardous chemicals used in the spray painting operation; failure to cover flammable liquids; use of unapproved electrical equipment in hazardous locations; lack of proper ventilation in a spray booth; and the lack of cleanliness of the spray area. OSHA issues a repeat violation when an employer previously was cited for the same or similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other facilities in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

The six serious violations investigators cited, which carry a penalty of $6,900, include the company's failure to properly label a drum containing hazardous chemicals; failure to properly guard machinery; improper use of electric boxes; and the use of a power strip as an alternative to fixed wiring. A serious citation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

OSHA initiated its investigation on Sept. 15, 2009, to determine the abatement status of previously identified hazards. In addition to the violations noted above, the agency cited the company for one other-than-serious violation, which carries no penalty. Proposed penalties for all the other violations total $101,700. COMPUSPAR has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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