The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited CEC Elevator Cab Corporation, a Bronx, N.Y., manufacturer of elevator cabs, for 18 alleged violations of safety and health standards, chiefly for failing to correct hazards cited during prior OSHA inspections. The company faces a total of $346,500 in proposed penalties.
"The sizable fines proposed here reflect the severe and recurring nature of these hazards," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown. "This employer's failure to address these potentially life-threatening conditions leaves its workers exposed to the hazards of fire, explosion, electrocution, lacerations, amputation and toxic substances."
OSHA cited the company in October 2009 for 21 safety and health violations. Follow-up inspections by OSHA found that several of the hazards remained uncorrected. They include a lack of explosion-proof wiring and equipment in a paint spray room; no chemical hazard communication program and training; no respiratory protection program; no fire extinguisher and forklift operator training; no monitoring for worker exposure to chromium; an unguarded table saw; and failure to record injuries and illnesses. The uncorrected hazards resulted in the issuance of eight failure-to-abate citations, carrying $321,000 in fines.
The latest inspection also identified hazards similar to those cited in the initial inspection, including improper storage of flammable or combustible liquids and materials; improper disposal of flammable rags; storing and consuming food and beverages in areas contaminated with toxic materials; no cleaning program to control lead surface contamination; an unguarded grinder; and improperly used extension cords. These recurring conditions resulted in the issuance of eight repeat citations with $21,000 in fines. Finally, the company has been issued two serious citations with $4,500 in fines for a locked exit door and paint spray room, and doors not constructed of non-combustible material. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"One means of preventing recurring hazards is for employers to establish an effective comprehensive workplace safety and health program in which their workers take an active role in evaluating, identifying and eliminating hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The employer 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.