Repeat Fines for Concrete Maker

Monday, April 28, 2014 @ 03:04 PM gHale

Universal Concrete Products Corp. is facing repeat violations after a follow-up inspection that began in December 2013 at the company’s Pottstown, PA, plant, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

The manufacturer of precast concrete faces $58,753 in proposed penalties for 14 health and safety workplace violations, including 10 repeat violations and four serious citations.

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“Universal Concrete continues to jeopardize the safety and health of its workers by failing to correct dangerous conditions,” said Jean Kulp, OSHA’s area director in Allentown. “OSHA’s safety and health standards exist to prevent injuries and fatalities. It is the employer’s responsibility to protect its workers by following these standards.”

OSHA’s Allentown Area Office conducted a previous inspection in August 2012 in response to a complaint and issued 17 serious and two other-than-serious violations. Fines totaled $61,286. An informal settlement agreement ended up reached in August 2012.

The new repeat violations include failure to provide workers with required safety and health training on respirator use; the safe use of powered industrial trucks; hazardous workplace chemicals and means of prevention; and the safe procedures to follow to prevent accidental machine startup when servicing a machine. In addition, the company received citations for exposing workers to electrical hazards and failing to conduct required safety inspections on mobile cranes.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The company also faces citations for four serious violations. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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