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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Donald R. Klein and Vortex Recycling Inc. for 27 violations of safety and health standards. OSHA initiated an inspection of the company’s New Castle facility in response to a complaint. Proposed penalties total $58,000.
The one repeat violation involved failing to remove defective or unsafe powered industrial trucks from service. The citation carries a $5,600 fine. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2008.
The 25 serious violations included a variety of fall, electrical and struck-by hazards; using equipment that was improperly installed, identified and located; improperly maintaining emergency eyewash stations, shower facilities and portable fire extinguishers; having unguarded machinery; crane deficiencies; a lack of proper housekeeping procedures for areas around plant equipment; and failing to develop programs for energy control, hearing conservation, permit-required confined spaces and hazard communication. The citations carry $51,700 in penalties. A serious violation occurs 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.
The one other-than-serious violation concerned having unsanitary eating areas. The citation carries a $700 penalty. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
"These violations pose serious risks to Vortex Recycling workers and must be addressed immediately," said Theresa A. Naim, director of OSHA's Erie area office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so."
The oil filter recycler employs 20 workers at its New Castle facility and has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.