OSHA fines Kenton Iron Products $214,500 in Penalties

July 23, 2010
OSHA has cited Kenton Iron Products LLC with $214,500 in proposed penalties for 29 alleged serious, willful and repeat safety and health violations for unsafe working conditions at the company’s iron casting facility in Kenton, Ohio.

As a result of a January 2010 inspection, OSHA issued three alleged willful citations with proposed penalties of $156,000 for failing to ensure that some equipment was de-energized and shut down properly, and lockout/tagout procedures were in place before workers conducted maintenance on the equipment to prevent accidental start-up of machinery. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Twenty-two serious citations with proposed penalties of $50,700 also have been issued. These include excess amounts of flammable liquids stored in a fire area; lack of or improper capacity labeling on equipment; malfunctioning back up alarms and hydraulic leaks on equipment; failure to have and enforce electrical lockout/tagout procedures; lack of employee fall protections; lack of proper personal protective gear for workers; and unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Additionally, OSHA has issued $7,800 in proposed fines for three repeat violations, including failing to provide proper grounding and bonding of flammable liquids, failing to provide safety latches on material handling hooks and using compressed air over the 30 pounds per square inch limit. OSHA issues repeat violations if that employer previously was cited for the same or similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

The company also has received one other-than-serious citation for using damaged electrical testing equipment. Other-than-serious citations are given when the violation would not directly cause a death or serious physical harm, but would affect the safety and health of employees.

“There is no excuse for a company to disregard the safety and welfare of its workers by not following OSHA safety standards,” said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi in Toledo, Ohio. “Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers.”

Kenton Iron Products manufactures iron castings at its two foundries located in Kenton and has more than 80 employees. The company has been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 1981 and has received 49 previous citations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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