New York plant faces $116,200 OSHA penalty

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety
A wide range of safety hazards at an Oriskany, N.Y., assembly plant has resulted in $116,200 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Orion Bus Industries Inc., which assembles and finishes passenger buses at the 165 Base Road plant, has been cited for a total of 24 alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious violations of safety standards following an OSHA inspection begun Nov. 21, 2005, in response to an employee complaint.

OSHA's inspection found various fall hazards, a locked and blocked emergency exit, defective forklifts, uninspected chain slings, ungrounded electrical equipment, unsafe electrical work practices, unguarded saws and grinders, lack of bonding and grounding while transferring flammable liquids, and failure to record accidents in the plant's illness and injury log.

"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to potential serious injury or death from falls, electrocution, crushing, lacerations, amputation, fire and being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of an emergency," said Chris R. Adams, OSHA's area director for Central New York.

The largest fine, $63,000, was assessed for service bay pits that lacked grating or guarding to prevent employees from falling into them. This resulted in a citation for one willful violation which is one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

A total of $52,200 in fines was proposed for 20 serious citations addressing the exit access, electrical, fire, forklift and sling hazards as well as additional fall hazards from unguarded work areas. Finally, a $1,000 fine was proposed for three other-than-serious citations covering inadequate recordkeeping, an unsecured electrical receptacle and unlabeled containers of chemicals.

A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Other-than-serious violations are hazardous conditions that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.

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