Equipment Maker sees Safety Fines

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 02:03 PM gHale

Polychem OMS Systems LLC, a specialty manufacturer of equipment for the production and processing of metals and plastic products in Leetonia, OH, is facing a $103,500 fine for 30 safety and health violations, including exposing workers to amputation hazards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

OSHA inspected the plant in September following a complaint. Twenty-one serious safety violations involve failing to establish a lockout/tagout program to control the energy sources of equipment; remove damaged web slings from service; provide machine guarding on lathes, blades, grinders and other equipment; provide personal protective equipment for electrical work; inspect trucks prior to use; remove defective vehicles from service; and train workers to operate powered industrial trucks.

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Six serious health violations include failing to provide other personal protective equipment, develop and implement a respirator program, conduct fire extinguisher training, develop and implement a hazard communication program, label hazardous chemicals, and properly store flammable and combustible liquids. 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.

One other-than serious safety violation is for failing to tag alloy steel slings with size, grade and capacity information. Additionally, two other-than-serious health violations are for failing to provide written certification that a hazard assessment occurred, and maintain the OSHA 300 injury and illness log. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Polychem OMS Systems has the responsibility to ensure that its employees are properly trained and protected from amputation hazards such as those caused by the lack of machine guarding, and to provide personal protective equipment to keep workers safe on the job,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland.

Polychem OMS Systems is an affiliate of Polychem in Mentor and employs 12 workers at the Leetonia site.

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