The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Har-Conn Chrome Company Inc. for 45 alleged serious violations of safety and health standards at its West Hartford, Conn., metal finishing plant.

"The conditions found at this workplace exposed employees to a variety of potential hazards including electrocution, fire, falls, lacerations and exposure to toxic substances," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "For the safety and health of its workers, this employer must address these hazards completely, effectively and on an ongoing basis to prevent their recurrence."

OSHA's inspection identified numerous electrical hazards, including exposed live parts, damaged or misused electrical equipment and wiring, blocked access to electrical wiring and the use of unapproved wiring; unguarded saws, fans and grinders; improper transfer of flammable liquids; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; confined space hazards; untrained forklift operators; lack of personal protective equipment; and lack of emergency eyewashes.

Additional hazards included failing to determine workers' exposure levels to hexavalent chromium, provide annual medical surveillance and training to exposed workers, establish a regulated work area and ensure contaminated protective clothing remained in the work area; and lack of cadmium exposure sampling.

OSHA has proposed a total of $77,500 in fines. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

Har-Conn Chrome has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.