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Employer Lax With Safety Following Hiring Surge

OSHA cited Hydraulic Devlopment and Manufacturing Co., Tonawanda, N.Y. following an investigation of unsafe conditions at its plant.

OSHA cited MDC Acquisition LLC, doing business as Hydraulic Development and Manufacturing Co., Tonawanda, N.Y., for 34 alleged serious violations.

According to OSHA area director David E. Boyce, the action results from an investigation conducted from Nov. 5 through April 27 in response to a complaint of unsafe conditions at the plant, which manufactures cylinders for brakes and other hydraulic systems.

"Our investigation established that the company had hired a large number of employees in response to an influx of new business," said Boyce. "But the employer did not take the necessary actions to train these workers in the appropriate safety measures or invest in appropriate safeguards.

"Unfortunately, sometimes when businesses expand," Boyce commented, "a decision is made to concentrate more on product than on people."

The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited include:

  • failure to provide training in the use of personal protective equipment, using fire extinguishers, and operation of powered industrial trucks;
  • failure to provide adequate machine guarding;
  • failure to provide a hearing conservation program;
  • failure to eliminate ignition sources or provide adequate ventilation in a spray booth; and
  • failure to provide a respiratory protection program.

OSHA proposed penalties of $105,750 against the firm. It has until May 18 to contest the citations.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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