Louver Maker’s ‘Blatant Disregard’ for Safety Results in Proposed $55,500 Fine

OSHA has cited American Warming and Ventilating Inc., a manufacturer of louvers, dampers, and shutters, with $55,500 in proposed penalties for alleged serious and repeat violations of federal workplace safety and health standards. The agency opened an inspection at the AWV plant in Bradner, Ohio, in January as part of its site-specific targeting program due to the company's high injury and illness rates in comparison to the national rates.

As a result of the inspection, OSHA has issued six serious violations for lack of proper fall protection equipment, improper electrical lockout and tagout procedures to prevent accidental energization start-up, lack of proper machine guarding, lack of proper training for maintenance personnel on power press equipment, damaged welding conductors, and lack of eye protection during welding. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

The company also has received two repeat violations for failing to have proper machine guarding and to provide workers approved electrical protective equipment. OSHA issues repeat violations when it finds a substantially similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order at any of an employer's other facilities in federal enforcement states when that employer has been cited in the past.

"These types of violations show the blatant disregard the company has for the safety and welfare of its employees," said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi in Toledo, Ohio. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."

AWV, one of 30 companies under Mestek Inc., has been inspected by OSHA six times in the past at this location, resulting in 12 violations. According to OSHA, there have been 40 inspections for Mestek companies, resulting in 161 violations.

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

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