CONWAY, Ark. -- For exposing workers to struck-by, amputation and electric shock hazards, custom design and packaging manufacturer AGE Industries Ltd. is being cited for 14 safety violations, with a proposed penalty of $78,500, by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Initiated as part of the agency's program to inspect industries with high injury and illness rates, OSHA's September inspection of the Conway facility uncovered one repeat, seven serious and six other safety violations.
'The package manufacturing industry is already known to subject employees to high risk levels,' said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock. 'By refusing to install the required equipment and make simple fixes, AGE Industries exposed its workers to unnecessary amputation and electrical hazards, which is unacceptable.'
The repeat violation, with a penalty of $38,500, was cited for exposing workers to amputation hazards as they worked near the manual cutting machine without required machine guards. Similar violations were cited in December 2011. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Seven serious violations, with a $38,900 penalty, were cited for failure to provide correct machine guards for tube saws and glue machines and to contain live electrical wiring on an automatic pallet-wrapping machine. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Six other violations, with a penalty of $1,100, were cited for improper record keeping, housekeeping and additional electrical violations.
With U.S. facilities in Arkansas and Texas, and another facility in Mexico, AGE Industries builds corrugated boxes, fiber tubes and packaging supplies. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Little Rock Area Office at 501-224-1841.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.