OSHA fined the company after a follow-up investigation revealed that despite the results of an Aug., 2001 inspection, the firm failed to establish a written hazard communications program and train workers on hazard communication. Further, the agency alleges the company failed to provide workers with personal protective equipment and failed to have fire extinguishers properly mounted and accessible, despite having been fined for those safety deficiencies in past inspections.
"Failure to correct problems once they have been identified is a serious matter," said Peggy Zweber, OSHA area director in Peoria. "Unabated hazards most certainly affect the safety and health of the workers."
Zweber said that OSHA also issued citations to the firm for alleged willful and serious violations of federal workplace laws including machine-guarding problems, hazardous issues involving forklift operations, and employee safety training.
"This firm has had three employees injured in the past year as a result of not maintaining point of operation guarding on baling machines," Zweber said. "One occurred in New York and two at the Granite City facility. It should be apparent to anyone that this is a serious problem."
Spruce Plastics Corp. bundles and processes used materials such as carpet padding and plastics for recycling and reprocessing.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, and/or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.