OSHA Dunks Swimming Pool Firm in Fines Following Worker's Injury

The Hauppauge, N.Y., swimming pool manufacturer faces a total of $106,200 in proposed fines.

OSHA has cited Wilbar International for 20 alleged violations of workplace safety standards after an employee's fingers were crushed while he was feeding material into a power press at the company's plant. The Hauppauge, N.Y., swimming pool manufacturer faces a total of $106,200 in proposed fines.

OSHA's inspection identified numerous machine guarding and energy control hazards associated with power presses. These include guards on presses that created pinch points and did not prevent entry into the presses' points of operation; a lack of training in safe work methods and safety procedures for press operators and maintenance/setup workers; no periodic or regular inspections of presses; inadequate energy control procedures to prevent the unintended start-up of presses during maintenance; and a lack of energy control training and hardware.

"This case illustrates what can and does happen when machinery is not adequately guarded and energy control procedures are deficient," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island area director. "I want employers on Long Island to take note: This is exactly the type of injury OSHA's machine guarding and energy control requirements are designed to prevent."

Inspectors also found electrical hazards, the absence of a hearing conservation program, improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, and a blocked exit. All together, the hazardous conditions resulted in citations for 19 serious violations carrying fines of $105,300.

One other–than–serious violation, with a $900 fine, was cited for incomplete recording of injuries and illnesses.

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