DéjÀ vu For OSHA Inspectors at N.Y. Printer

A Fairport, N.Y., commercial printer/engraver failed to correct previously cited occupational health hazards, leading to fines of $93,600 and a sense of déjÀ vu for OSHA inspectors.

OSHA cited Mastercraft Decorators Inc. in April 2003 for violations of the lead, cadmium and hazard communication standards. The company was originally fined $3,000 and agreed to correct all cited hazards. OSHA began a follow-up inspection on Oct. 2, 2003, after the company failed to submit proof that the hazards had been corrected.

That gaff is proving costly for the company: As a result of the inspection, six "failure-to-abate" citations, carrying $90,000 in fines. OSHA cited Mastercraft for failing to determine if employees were exposed to lead and to cadmium; failing to train employees in lead and cadmium hazards; not providing employees information and training on hazardous chemicals other than cadmium and lead in the workplace, such as lacquer thinners and printing inks; and failing to establish and implement a hazard communication program for employees exposed to hazardous chemicals.

"It's unacceptable when an employer agrees to correct hazardous conditions, then fails to follow through on its commitment," said Art Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director. "In cases such as this, we will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action on behalf of workers."

Mastercraft was also issued three serious citations for not storing combustible waste material and residues in covered metal receptacles; not using electrical receptacles in accordance with their listing; and not maintaining all surfaces as free as practicable of accumulations of lead. OSHA proposed $3,600 in fines for these items.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its latest citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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