The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited The Fountainhead Group Inc. of New York Mills, N.Y., for 34 serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The company, which manufactures agricultural hand sprayers for consumers, faces a total of $83,650 in proposed fines following a comprehensive safety inspection conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program.
"This inspection identified a broad cross-section of hazards which, if uncorrected, expose employees to potential falls, electric shock, crushing, burns or machinery injuries," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "The employer must take and maintain effective corrective action for the safety of workers at this plant."
Specifically, the company was cited for failing to inspect and rate the lifting capacity of overhead hoists; unlock exits and mark exit doors; mark exit aisles and passageways; guard overhead storage areas; provide safe access to elevated work locations; properly maintain paint spray booths; provide adequate personal protective equipment; develop lockout/tagout procedures and training; provide fire extinguisher training; guard moving machine parts; maintain safety devices on presses; guard, maintain and ground electrical equipment; and develop a chemical hazard communication program. 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.
"One means of eliminating hazards such as these is for employers to establish a safety and health program in which workers and management jointly work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions on a continual basis," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The Fountainhead Group has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.