CONCORD, N.H. -- A Monro Muffler Brake Inc. facility in Portsmouth has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards. The automotive repair, maintenance and tire company faces proposed fines of $221,100 following an inspection by OSHA's Concord Office, begun in November 2012, as the result of a complaint.
'Willful and recurring violations suggest a disturbing pattern of noncompliance with safety standards that exist to protect the lives and well-being of a company's employees,' said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. 'Monro Muffler Brake must correct these hazards and take effective steps to address recurring hazards at all its workplaces.'
The willful citation stems from workers who were exposed to potential electric shock from exposed, energized wires in a restroom. OSHA found that the company did not correct the hazard after knowing of its existence from in-house safety inspections. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The proposed penalty for the willful violation is $60,500.
Five repeat citations were issued for defective work ladders, unsecured oxygen and acetylene cylinders, and inadequate eyewashing facilities for workers. 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. Similar hazards have been cited since 2009 at facility locations in Newington, Conn.; Canton, Rochester and Victor, N.Y.; and Middleburg Heights, Ohio. The proposed penalties for the repeat violations are $143,000.
Four serious citations were issued for obstructed exit routes, improper storage and disposal of combustible material, damaged gas pressure regulators and inadequately grounded electrical equipment. 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 proposed penalties for the serious violations are $17,600.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MonroMufflerBrakeInc_755161_0515_13.pdf.*
In August 2012, Monro Muffler Brake Inc. reached an enterprisewide settlement agreement with the department in which it agreed to institute procedures to protect its workers against being crushed or struck by automotive hydraulic lifts. The company agreed to develop and implement an inspection and maintenance program for all automotive lifts at all of its federal OSHA-covered work sites, including periodic inspections by qualified inspectors; procedures to remedy any potentially unsafe conditions; mandatory training for lift operators; and the submission of written compliance reports to OSHA.
Monro Muffler Brake has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Concord office at 603-225-1629.
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.