The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Williamsport Steel Container Company Inc. of Williamsport, Pa., for alleged safety and health violations and is proposing $43,000 in penalties. The company, which has 38 employees, manufactures steel drums used for the storage of flammable, combustible and corrosive liquids or hazardous waste.

OSHA initiated its investigation on March 6 as a follow-up to a previous inspection. The company was issued three repeat violations for machine guarding hazards, and improper storage of flammable and combustible liquids, with a total proposed penalty of $28,000; and three serious violations for machine guarding, emergency egress and electrical hazards, with a total proposed penalty of $15,000.

"Left uncorrected, these conditions will expose employees to numerous hazards including electrocution, amputations, burns and exposure to hazardous substances, among a variety of other injuries and illnesses," said Andrew Hedesh, OSHA's area director in Wilkes-Barre, whose office conducted the inspection. "It is imperative for this employer to correct these violations before a tragedy occurs."

OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer previously has been cited for a substantially similar violation, and that citation and its penalty have become final. A serious violation is 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 company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.