Big Safety Fines at Aluminum Plant

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 12:09 PM gHale

Aluminum Shapes LLC is facing $308,000 in fines for 44 health and safety violations at its Delair, New Jersey, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA launched an investigation April 16 and which resulted in one willful, three repeat, 35 serious, and five other-than-serious violations.

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OSHA started its investigation after learning an employee suffered a broken leg March 24 while operating a crane and ended up in the hospital. The company failed to report the incident to the agency within 24 hours, as required.

The willful citation involved electrical equipment with damaged parts that could adversely affect the safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment. In addition, pendant control boxes for a crane suffered from damage, malfunctioning and not clearly marked; damaged slings did not end up removed from service; and metal saws did not have guarded to prevent employee exposure, resulting in the repeat citations. Unguarded floor openings, lack of machine guarding and confined space training were among the serious violations.

The other-than-serious violations included the employer’s failure to report the hospitalization and an inadequate hazard communication program.

“The number of safety violations found at Aluminum Shapes’ plant is completely unacceptable. This employer blatantly ignored known safety requirements, causing a preventable worker injury,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York. “This company is now paying a hefty price for its negligence. The hazards identified in the investigation should be immediately addressed to prevent future incidents and ensure worker safety.”