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Connecticut Firm Faces Nearly $250,000 in OSHA Fines

For the third time in 6 years, OSHA said it found widespread safety and health hazards at the West Hartford, Conn., tool manufacturing plant of Danaher Tool Group, doing business as Holo-Krome Inc.

OSHA's most recent inspection, conducted under two national emphasis programs aimed at preventing amputations and overexposure to lead, has resulted in citations for 26 alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of standards. Proposed penalties total $247,600.

According to OSHA, the latest inspection began in August. OSHA said it found that safety interlocks on machinery were bypassed or removed, allowing employees to come in contact with moving parts. According to the agency, one worker sustained a hand injury on a machine with a bypassed interlock.

OSHA proposed a fine of $70,000 for an alleged willful violation committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

Repeat Citations Carry $138,100 in Proposed Fines

Eleven repeat citations, accounting for $138,100 in proposed fines, were issued for alleged hazards similar to those cited at the plant in 2004. According to OSHA, these included:

  • Unguarded or inadequately guarded mechanical power presses, grinders and other machinery;
  • No annual reviews of lockout procedures to prevent the accidental startup of machinery;
  • Exposed live electrical parts;
  • Lack of required hand protection;
  • Improper extension of fork trucks; and
  • No warning signs and asbestos awareness training for workers.

Serious Citations Include Confined Space Hazards

Fourteen serious citations, with $39,500 in proposed fines, were issued for:

  • Lead accumulation on work surfaces;
  • Defective exit access;
  • No controls to reduce excess noise levels;
  • No hearing protection for exposed workers;
  • Confined space hazards;
  • Unguarded loft and work platforms;
  • Inappropriately used electrical cords;
  • No fire extinguisher training; and
  • Failure to lock out machinery before performing maintenance.

"Left uncorrected, these conditions continually expose employees to the hazards of laceration, amputation, crushing injuries, hearing loss, fire, electrocution, confined spaces and exposure to toxic substances," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "The recurrence of hazards at this workplace is disturbing. Failure to supply and ensure these common, legally required safeguards unnecessarily puts employees' lives at risk."

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