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Maine company fined and cited by federal safety agency

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The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has fined Cives Steel Co. for purported willful, serious and repeat safety violations after an investigation of its Augusta, Maine, facility led to the discovery of crushing, electrical and laceration dangers. OSHA proposed a fine of $132,000.

'The sizable fines proposed in this case reflect the severity and recurring nature of a number of these hazards,' William Coffin, OSHA's area director for Maine, said according to the safety agency's website. 'For the safety of its workers, this employer must take effective and expeditious action to eliminate these conditions and prevent their recurrence.'

According to sources, such as the Kennebec Journal and Occupational Health and Safety, Cives Steel maintenance workers failed to use safety clothing when working or coming into contact with electrical equipment. This willful violation carries a fine of $70,000.

A repeat citation totaling $22,000 was issued after OSHA investigators found that Cives Steel workers were incorrectly using chainsaws, extension cords. Furthermore, officials from the federal safety agency found that the business and neglected to test a lifting device. A company was fined for a similar infraction at its New York facility in 2010.

Nine serious citations that amounted to $40,000 in penalties were administered for, among other things, laceration dangers from the use of a chainsaw, insufficient egress from a mezzanine and more electrical dangers.

Like all companies that have been cited and fined by OSHA, Cives Steel has 15 days to determine whether it will pay the fine, request an informal meeting with OSHA officials or appeal the penalties and citations.

This incident highlights the importance of adhering the safety and health standards set forth by the federal agency. Failure to do so can result in fines, fatal and nonfatal accidents and surprise inspections.

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