Tape Maker Faces Multiple Safety Fines

Thursday, July 28, 2016 @ 02:07 PM gHale


Scapa North America LLC, is facing $78,000 in fines for 17 serious safety violations at its Windsor, CT, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators started the inspection of the adhesive tape manufacturer on Jan. 14, after employees complained of serious electrical hazards.

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OSHA found the company required untrained, unqualified employees to troubleshoot, reset and repair electrical controls and circuits with exposed, live parts without enclosures or guards to prevent contact.

Other electrical hazards included:
• Not enclosing or guarding exposed energized electrical equipment
• Failing to shield employees from exposed live fuses properly
• Using flexible electrical cords rather than required fixed wiring to power equipment
• Placing metal-framed table and chairs near energized electrical equipment
• Failing to ensure the use of electrical equipment in accordance with its listed or labeled restrictions
• Not ensuring the suitable use of shop-modified electrical equipment

Additional hazards identified during the inspection included:
• Improper storage of flammable liquids and rags
• Not supplying non-sparking tools for employees working near flammable adhesives and solvents
• Inadequate face, eye and hand protection for employees working with vehicle batteries and not assessing the need for such protection
• Failing to inspect chain alloy slings periodically
• Not providing employees with annual respirator fit-testing

“The breadth and number of hazards identified during our inspections are of concern,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford. “Left uncorrected, they expose employees to potential injuries or worse from electric shock, fire, deficient respirator safeguards and chemical burns, among other hazards. Prompt, effective and ongoing corrective action by Scapa North America is necessary.”

OSHA also cited the plant in March 2016 for 10 serious violations encompassing electrical hazards, lack of specific procedures for locking out machines’ power sources, fall hazards and inadequate safeguards for employees working in confined spaces. Scapa North America subsequently corrected those hazards.