The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $64,250 in penalties following an inspection of Konie Cups International's Medley, Fla., manufacturing plant, which revealed 12 alleged safety violations.
OSHA is proposing one willful violation with a $49,000 penalty. Despite an earlier warning given to the company by local fire officials, OSHA discovered during its inspection that an exit door was locked and the key not easily accessible to all employees in case of an emergency. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
The company is receiving seven serious safety violations with penalties totaling $12,750. Employee safety was at risk because liquid propane tanks were stored near an exit route and too many tanks of the explosive gas were stored inside the building. Other problems included electrical hazards, slip and fall hazards, lack of eye protection, lack of a hearing conservation program, exposing employees to amputation hazards and lack of an established lockout/tagout program to prevent machines' unintended startup.
OSHA also has cited Konie Cups International for four other-than-serious violations with proposed penalties of $2,500.
"If a fire occurred in this plant, employees could die because this employer chose to ignore basic safety precautions," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.
The company has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.