CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A.W.T. World Trade Inc. for 28 safety and health violations, including multiple violations of OSHA's flammable liquids and spray finishing standards. The complaint inspection was initiated at the Chicago printing machinery manufacturer on Nov. 14, 2012. Proposed penalties total $119,700.
'A.W.T. World Trade failed to implement effective measures during the handling of flammable liquids and associated spray finishing operations,' said Diane Turek, OSHA's area director for the Chicago North Office in Des Plaines. 'Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthful work environment. They must provide personal protective equipment and train workers to take precautions to protect themselves from known hazards in their industry.'
A total of 27 serious safety and health violations were cited, including lack of a written hazard communication program; not providing employees information and training on hazardous chemicals present in the work environment; lack of machine guarding; failure to ensure use of eye protection during welding operations; failing to properly secure and store welding gas cylinders and hazards associated with the use and storage of flammables used in spray finishing operations. Additionally, the company was cited for the interior surfaces of the spray paint booth being coated with excessive residues of flammable paints.
Several violations involve respirator protection standards, such as the lack of a written respiratory protection program, failing to select the proper respirator for the hazards present, improper storage and fit, lack of medical evaluations for employees required to wear respirators and failing to train workers in the proper use.
Violations of electrical standards were also cited, including the use of flexible cords instead of fixed wiring, lack of strain relief and obstructing the space around electrical panels. 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.
Additionally, one other-than-serious health violation was cited for failing to verify that a required personal protective equipment assessment had been performed through a written certification. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The citations may be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/awt_world_tradeinc_738983_0510_13.pdf.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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 Chicago North Office at 847-803-4800. 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.