CT Firm Faces Machine Safety Violations

Friday, November 18, 2011 @ 03:11 PM gHale


A Pomfret, CT, cable manufacturer faces $177,000 in fines for more than two dozen workplace safety violations, including a repeat violation for inadequate machine safeguarding, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said.

Loos & Co. is facing citations for 29 violations for electrical, chemical, mechanical, fire and exit hazards at its plant, according to the Hartford OSHA office.

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“Left uncorrected, they expose employees to the hazards of electrocution, fire, crushing injuries, being caught in moving or unexpectedly energized machinery, hearing loss and being unable to exit the building swiftly in the event of fire or other emergency,” said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA’s area director in Hartford.

The cited hazards include untrained employees working on live electrical equipment without adequate personal protective equipment; ungrounded lamps and electrical receptacles; damaged and misused electrical equipment and cords; unguarded moving machine parts; uninspected lifting slings; spray painting with flammable paint within 20 feet of spark-producing equipment; and exit routes arranged so employees would have to travel toward high-hazard areas when exiting the plant in an emergency.

The one repeat violation dated back to a previous OSHA inspection in 2008.

Loos said the majority of violations were for machines and programs OSHA had inspected just three years ago, which did not violate federal standards at the time.

“Over 90 percent of the infractions identified by OSHA were remedied during the time of their inspection, while the remaining 10 percent are in the process of being corrected,” said Richard Griswold, the company’s president. “Despite Loos & Company’s willingness to immediately make the changes requested by OSHA, heavy fines were levied. The level of these fines reflect the current OSHA administration’s desire to dramatically impact businesses where inspectors have identified violations.”



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