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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited KBRK Inc., doing business as Baird Display in Waukesha, Wis., with $60,750 in proposed penalties for alleged willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards.
As a result of a January 2010 inspection, OSHA has issued a willful citation to the company with a proposed penalty of $35,000. OSHA discovered that employees were bypassing safety switches in order to reach into running machinery to un-jam it without shutting down the machine. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
OSHA also has issued the company 18 serious citations with proposed penalties of $25,750. Some of the alleged violations include: failure to provide guardrails and other fall protection from platforms; to establish a lockout/tagout energy control program; to produce procedures for controlling potentially hazardous energy sources on equipment or provide proper training; and to have proper guarding on machinery or rotating shafts. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
"There is no excuse for a company to disregard the safety and welfare of its workers by not following the OSHA safety guidelines," said OSHA area director George Yoksas in Milwaukee. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."
The company, which manufactures displays and employs 68 people at its Waukesha factory, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.