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Widespread fire, electrical, mechanical and other hazards at a Farmington, Conn., aircraft parts manufacturing plant have resulted in a total $130,050 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
EDAC Technologies Corp. was cited with 41 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards following a comprehensive OSHA inspection, conducted under a program that targets workplaces with higher than average rates of restricted duty or days away from work due to on-the-job injuries or illnesses.
Specifically, OSHA found that workers were exposed to potential fire and explosion hazards from combustible dust collected in an inadequately designed dust collection system; several electrical safety deficiencies, including unguarded or ungrounded live electrical parts and equipment, and workers not trained in electrical safety related work practices; unmarked emergency exits and obstructed exit routes; inadequate precautions against the ignition of flammable vapors; lack of a site-specific lockout/tagout energy program; an unapproved boom attachment on a fork truck; damaged and unmarked lifting slings; an incomplete exposure control program; lack of a respiratory protection program; failure to determine employees' exposure levels to hexavalent chromium; and numerous instances of unguarded moving machine parts.
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.
"The size of these proposed fines reflects the breadth and gravity of conditions identified at this workplace," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's acting area director in Hartford. "Left uncorrected, they expose workers to possible death or serious injury from fire and explosion, electrocution, falls, being caught in moving machine parts, crushing, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and being unable to exit the plant swiftly in the event of a fire or other emergency."
EDAC Technologies has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.