Steel Plant Cited for Numerous Repeat SafetyViolations

OSHA cited Bushwick Metals Inc., Bridgeport, Conn., steel\r\nprocessor, for alleged safety violations and has proposed penalties\r\ntotaling $109,000.

OSHA cited Bushwick Metals Inc., Bridgeport, Conn., steel processor, for alleged safety violations and has proposed penalties totaling $109,000.

According to OSHA, the alleged violations were discovered during an inspection initiated May 4, in response to an employee complaint and encompass a cross-section of manufacturing hazards, including several conditions which had been cited by OSHA in a 1998 inspection at the same location.

Bushwick Metals Inc. processes, warehouses and ships various steel products, including beams, bars, strips, sheets, plates, pipes and tubing. Approximately 95 employees work at the Bridgeport foundry.

"Cited conditions included unguarded portions of band saws and metal shears, electrical parts that were not guarded against accidental contact, steel stock protruding into aisles where employees could walk into it, employees failing to wear helmets in areas where they might be struck by falling objects, improper storage of oxygen and compressed gas cylinders, inadequate training of fork truck operators and an incomplete log of on-the-job injuries," said Clifford Weston, OSHA area director in Bridgeport.

Weston noted that the sizable penalty proposed in this case reflects the classification of eight of the citations as Repeat.

OSHA had previously inspected the plant in the fall of 1998 and subsequently issued citations for 26 Serious and four Other than Serious violations with fines totaling $23,100.

"Of special concern is the reoccurrence of several types of hazards that were identified and cited during the earlier inspection," said Weston. "This means that employees are once again exposed to such potential hazards as laceration, fractures, amputation, head injuries, electrocution and being injured by unexpectedly activated machinery, if these conditions are not corrected."

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply or contest them before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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