The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Sabina Manufacturing for alleged safety and health violations, assessing proposed penalties of $127,200. The Lawrence, Pa., company is a metal fabricating job shop with 71 employees.

OSHA initiated an investigation on May 22 in response to a complaint. As a result, the agency has issued the company citations for one willful violation with a $70,000 penalty, five repeat violations with penalties of $52,700 and three serious violations with penalties of $4,500.

The willful citation cites Sabina Manufacturing's failure to have the proper machine guarding to protect employees from injury. The repeat violations reflect the company's deficient hazardous energy control system, failure to properly guard machinery, and a lack of recordkeeping. The serious violations address the company's failure to provide the proper training for employees operating power presses and electrical hazards.

"Employees are exposed to a variety of injuries, as well as the possibility of amputations, when companies do not use proper machine guards," says Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office. "It's imperative that Sabina Manufacturing correct the identified hazards as soon as possible to help ensure its employees stay safe and healthy on the job."

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. A repeat violation is issued when OSHA finds a substantially similar violation during a re-inspection. Serious violations are issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious injury could occur from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Sabina Manufacturing has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.