Pep Boys Penalized for Machine Guarding, Electrical Hazards

OSHA alleges that workers in the Hamden store's service area were exposed to electric shock hazards from damaged power cords, as well as to cuts and lacerations from a grinder that lacked a safety guard, a tongue guard, and guarding of its spindle end.

OSHA has issued four repeat and one serious citation to the Pep Boys auto service company following a recent inspection at its facility in Hamden, Conn. The Philadelphia-based chain faces a total of $75,000 in proposed fines.

"The size of these fines reflects the fact that Pep Boys previously was cited for a number of similar hazards at its Orange, Conn., location," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "It would be to the benefit of its workers' safety companywide for this employer to determine if similar hazards exist at other stores and to eliminate them if they do."

OSHA alleges that workers in the Hamden store's service area were exposed to electric shock hazards from damaged power cords, as well as to cuts and lacerations from a grinder that lacked a safety guard, a tongue guard, and guarding of its spindle end. OSHA cited Pep Boys in September 2009 for similar hazards at its Orange store. As a result of this latest inspection, OSHA has issued the repeat citations with $70,000 in proposed fines. A repeat citation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Pep Boys was issued the serious citation with a fine of $5,000 for missing face plates on an electrical outlet box and a snap switch box. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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