Repeat and Serious Safety and Health Hazards Lead to $112,000 in OSHA Fines

A Southington, Conn., cabinet manufacturer's failure to address a wide range of safety and health hazards resulted in citations for 30 alleged violations and $112,000 in proposed fines from OSHA.

Les-Care Kitchens Inc. was cited following an inspection conducted under a targeting program for workplaces with higher-than-average numbers of workdays lost to injuries or illnesses.

The largest fines, $65,000, are proposed for six alleged repeat violations for failing to assess workplace hazards to determine if employees required personal protective equipment and training; failing to develop and train workers in machine-specific lockout procedures; ungrounded electrical wiring and equipment; failing to provide annual bloodborne pathogen training; no written hazard communication program and training; and illegible warning plates on forklifts.

According to Thomas Guilmartin, OSHA's Hartford area director, these citations were classified as repeat because OSHA cited Les-Care Kitchens for substantially similar hazards at the firm's Waterbury, Conn., production facility in July 2002.

The inspection also identified 24 alleged serious violations for which additional fines of $47,000 are proposed. These citations encompass machine guarding, electrical and fall hazards; locked and blocked exit doors; defective forklifts; lack of an eyewash station; and deficiencies in required hearing conservation programs, bloodborne pathogens, personal protective equipment and confined space hazards.

Les-Care Kitchens has 15 business days from receipt of its 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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