The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited an East Syracuse, N.Y., automotive parts manufacturer for 65 alleged serious violations of safety standards. New Process Gear, a division of Magna Powertrain, faces a total of $145,350 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection conducted under a program that targets workplaces with higher than average injury and illness rates.

"These citations address a variety of hazards which, left uncorrected, expose employees to potential falls, fire, crushing injuries, lacerations, amputations, being caught in the unexpected startup of machinery or not being able to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of an emergency," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "The sizable fines proposed reflect the breadth and seriousness of the cited conditions."

The 65 serious citations encompass blocked or impeded exits and aisles, missing or unlit exit signs and inoperable emergency lighting; wet floors; fall hazards from unguarded floor holes, pits, open-sided floors and ladder openings; damaged or deficient ladders; unsecured or damaged compressed gas cylinders; lack of lockout/tagout training, procedures, inspections and devices; inaccessible fire extinguishers and hoses; lack of emergency eyewash stations; damaged storage racks; lack of emergency respirator training; several instances of unguarded moving machine parts; numerous electrical safety deficiencies; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; defective forklifts and lack of forklift operator training; defective lifting slings; and hoists and lifting devices not inspected or rated as to their lifting capacity.

OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"New Process Gear needs to take prompt, effective and ongoing actions to both correct these conditions and prevent them from happening again," said Adams. "One of the best means of preventing serious workplace hazards is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which management and employees can work together to actively identify, analyze and eliminate work-related hazards."

New Process Gear has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.