Safety Fine for Unsafe Spray Operations

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 05:05 PM gHale

A.W.T. World Trade Inc. is facing $119,700 in fines for 28 safety and health violations, including multiple violations of flammable liquids and spray finishing standards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The complaint inspection initiated at the Chicago printing machinery manufacturer Nov. 14.

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“A.W.T. World Trade failed to implement effective measures during the handling of flammable liquids and associated spray finishing operations,” said Diane Turek, OSHA’s area director for the Chicago North Office in Des Plaines. “Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthful work environment. They must provide personal protective equipment and train workers to take precautions to protect themselves from known hazards in their industry.”

OSHA cited 27 serious safety and health violations, including lack of a written hazard communication program; not providing employees information and training on hazardous chemicals present in the work environment; lack of machine guarding; failure to ensure use of eye protection during welding operations; failing to properly secure and store welding gas cylinders and hazards associated with the use and storage of flammables used in spray finishing operations. Additionally, the company also received a citation for the interior surfaces of the spray paint booth being coated with excessive residues of flammable paints.

Several violations involve respirator protection standards, such as the lack of a written respiratory protection program, failing to select the proper respirator for the hazards present, improper storage and fit, lack of medical evaluations for employees required to wear respirators and failing to train workers in the proper use.

OSHA also cited violations of electrical standards, including the use of flexible cords instead of fixed wiring, lack of strain relief and obstructing the space around electrical panels. 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.

Additionally, one other-than-serious health violation was for failing to verify the company performed a required personal protective equipment assessment. 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.

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