Gun Maker Faces Safety Fines

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 02:11 PM gHale


Remington Arms Co. Inc. is under fire for 35 serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Ilion, N.Y., manufacturing plant, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

The firearms manufacturer faces $170,000 in penalties for a variety of mechanical, electrical and chemical hazards identified during inspections by OSHA’s Syracuse Area Office.

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“Left uncorrected, these conditions expose the plant’s workers to electrocution, falls, burns, lacerations, amputation, crushing and “struck-by” injuries, as well as exposure to hazardous substances and being caught in operating or unintentionally energized machinery,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA’s area director for central New York. “For the safety and health of these workers, this employer must ensure that these hazards are corrected and take effective steps to prevent their recurrence.”

OSHA found violations involving a lack of personal protective equipment; accumulations of toxic substances lead and cadmium on surfaces in the plant; food and beverages stored and consumed at cadmium-contaminated work stations; failing to provide workers with training and information on lead and cadmium; and not determining cadmium exposure levels.

The inspection also identified numerous electrical hazards and instances of unguarded moving machine parts; improper storage and transfer of flammable liquids; a lack of procedures to lock out machines’ power sources to prevent their unintended startup during maintenance; unguarded openings and defective ladders; defective powered industrial trucks and untrained drivers; inadequate fire extinguisher training and availability; unlabeled permit-required confined spaces; no continuous, effective extermination program for vermin; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; and several exit deficiencies including a locked exit door, obstructed exit routes, unmarked exits, and non-functioning emergency and exit lighting.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“An effective illness and injury prevention program in which employers and employees work together to identify and eliminate hazards is one way of preventing initial and recurring workplace hazards such as these,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional director in New York.

Remington Arms Co. Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.



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