Safety Fines for Dinnerware Maker

Friday, March 20, 2015 @ 03:03 PM gHale

Workers at World Kitchen LLC’s Corning, NY, manufacturing plant suffered exposure to amputation, fire and crushing hazards that put their health and safety at risk, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

After receiving a complaint, OSHA inspectors visited the Corning plant in September and found employees faced fire, laceration, amputation, crushing, electric shock, falling and hearing loss danger because of absent or deficient safeguards.

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As a result, the company received 25 violations of workplace health and safety standards with fines totaling $108,000.

“Any of these conditions could have cost World Kitchen employees their lives or their livelihoods,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA’s area director in Syracuse. “It’s imperative that World Kitchen take swift, comprehensive and effective action to eliminate these hazards and prevent them from happening again.”

The potential hazards faced by the Corning plant’s employees included:
• Laceration or amputation caused by exposed moving parts, such as belts, pulleys, sprocket wheels and chains, that could engage unexpectedly or cause injury in motion as they lacked shields to prevent employees from coming in contact with them.
• Falls off open-sided floors, from platforms and stairways without railings, and into open floor holes.
• Burns and fire caused by improper use of flammable liquids and disposal of rags and waste, and lack of worker training on how to use fire extinguishers.
• Electrical shock resulting from misused and mislabeled electrical equipment.
• Exposure to bloodborne hazards due to a lack of annual employee training, and a failure to update the plant’s bloodborne exposure control plan.
• Eye and face injuries suffered by employees working with corrosive chemicals because no emergency eyewash was present.
• Hearing damage and loss caused by a failure to retrain employees who experienced noise-induced hearing loss.

The Corning plant also received a citation for a repeated violation for not recording all work-related injuries and illnesses in its OSHA 300 injury and illness log. OSHA cited World Kitchens in July 2010 for a similar violation at its Greencastle, Pennsylvania, location.

“It’s imperative that World Kitchen and other employers correctly record all on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Failure to do so can mask underlying hazards that can have serious consequences for employees,” Adams said.

World Kitchen LLC makes dinnerware for well-known brand names, such as Corelle and CorningWare.

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