Bristol, Conn., wire manufacturer faces more than $109,000 in US Labor Department OSHA fines for new and recurring hazards
Radcliff Wire Inc. previously cited for electrical and other hazards in 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Radcliff Wire Inc. for serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection by OSHA's Hartford Area Office. An inspection of the Bristol wire products manufacturer began on July 23, 2013, under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program, resulting in $109,340 in proposed fines.
'The sizable fines proposed here reflect the breadth and gravity of these hazards and the fact that this employer has been cited previously for several of these conditions,' said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. 'Left uncorrected, plant employees are exposed to hazards, such as electric shock, arc flashes, fire, eye and crushing injuries. It's imperative that employers not just correct hazards, but effectively prevent their recurrence.'
Inspectors at the 97 Ronzo Road plant found similar violations to those cited in October 2009, including failing to train maintenance personnel on the practices of using the personal protective equipment required for protection against electric shock, arc flashes or arc blasts while trouble-shooting or working on live electrical equipment; use fixed wiring, rather than extension cords, to power equipment and prevent blocked access to an electrical disconnect; provide designated workers with annual hands-on fire extinguisher training; and review the hazardous energy control program annually to prevent machine startup during maintenance. These violations resulted in $53,900 in proposed fines. 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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Fifteen serious citations, with $55,440 in fines, regard new violations, including failing to prevent the plant electrician from working on live electrical equipment before it was deenergized; provide a program to inspect the hydrogen piping systems for defects or hazards; inspect protective gloves every six months; and store flammable chemicals properly. Additional serious citations include failing to dispose of flammable rags properly; provide a written chemical hazard communication program; label hazardous chemical containers; guard moving machine parts; prevent excess air pressure for a cleaning hose; provide protective goggles while operating a cleaning hose; provide eye protection for those working with corrosive chemicals; periodically inspect slings used to lift dies; and additional electrical hazards. 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.
The citations can be viewed at http://go.usa.gov/BbTY and http://go.usa.gov/BbTe. Radcliff Wire Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its failure-to-abate notices, citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Information about controlling electrical hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3075.pdf*.
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 Hartford Area Office at 860-240-3152.
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.