The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Phoenix Trim Works Inc. for alleged safety and health violations and is proposing a total of $111,500 in penalties. The Williamsport, Pa., textile company, which manufactures decorative trim and specialty fabrics for furniture, has 56 employees.
OSHA initiated its investigation on September 27, 2006, in response to a complaint alleging electrical and machine guarding hazards. The company was issued two willful violations with proposed penalties of $98,000 and 10 serious violations with proposed penalties of $13,500.
Willful violations were issued because of the company's failure to properly guard machinery. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
"Without proper machine guarding, the company's employees are at risk of sustaining severe workplace injuries, including crushed fingers or hands, amputations, or blindness," said Andrew Hedesh, director of OSHA's area office in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which conducted the inspection.
Serious violations are issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious injury could occur from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The serious violations include the company's failure to establish procedures to ensure the control of hazardous energy from machines, failure to train employees in the safe operation of powered industrial trucks, and electrical hazards.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.