Boat Manufacturer Exposes Workers to Fall, Amputation, and Electrical Hazards: OSHA

Homestead, Fla.-based Contender Boats faces $106,000 in proposed fines following OSHA's investigation.

Contender Boats Inc., a sport fishing boat manufacturer, faces $106,000 in fines after OSHA issued the employer 10 repeat, 11 serious, and four other-than-serious safety and health violations.

According to the agency's report, the repeat citations were issued for allowing forklifts with broken seats to be in operation; failing to perform frequent inspections of cranes to identify defects or excessive wear on operating components; exposing workers to a drill press that was not secured to the floor; using compressed air in excess of 30 pounds per square inch for cleaning; and exposing employees to several electrical hazards.

OSHA also cited the Homestead, Fla.-based company for serious violations for not having safety guards on machinery; lack of stairway railings, which exposed workers to fall hazards; not implementing a hearing conservation program for employees performing boat-building operations; and failing to train employees who use hazardous chemicals.

"Contender Boats must ensure worker safety is not an afterthought. There is no excuse for exposing employees to the serious hazards which could result in burns, hearing loss, amputation, or even death," said Condell Eastmond, OSHA's area director in Ft. Lauderdale. "The company must take all the necessary steps to immediately correct the hazards and foster a safer work environment for all employees."

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