Two Connecticut Firms Face Big OSHA Fines
OSHA inspectors have cited an Uncasville manufacturer that makes tachometers and speed-measuring devices for 11 serious violations, including obvious amputation, crushing, and electrical hazards.
OSHA’s Hartford Area Office inspected Faria Beede Instruments Inc. as part of its national emphasis program to reduce workplace machine and equipment hazards which are causing or likely to cause amputations.
“Moving machine parts can cause severe workplace injuries—such as crushed fingers or hands and amputations—if they are not guarded to prevent contact,” says Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director for Hartford.
“Unguarded power presses and saws put Faria Beede Instruments’ manufacturing facility employees at risk of such injuries.
“An employer that ensures required guards are in place and effective can prevent worker injuries. Faria Beede is responsible for correcting these conditions before disabling or deadly injuries occur.”
In its inspection on May 16, 2016, OSHA discovered the company failed to:
- Ensure that the guard on a power press prevented entry of hands or fingers into the point of operation.
- Install a spreader on hand-fed circular rip saw to prevent wood from striking the operator.
- Ensure a mechanical power press had a single stroke safety mechanism to prevent unintended operation.
- Ensure that pressure vessels used in conjunction with power presses had pressure relief valves.
- Provide guards for a mechanical power press using sensing point of operation devices.
- Ensure barrier guard openings on mechanical power presses did not exceed maximum allowable dimensions.
- Prevent the hand-control device and point of operation on a mechanical press from being too close.
- Develop or implement an inspection program for mechanical power presses.
- Close openings in electrical panels that exposed workers to live parts.
- Prevent flexible cords and cables from being used as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure.
- Ensure maintenance workers were trained regarding what work practices and protective equipment would safeguard them from electric shock hazards.
The citations carry $44,100 in proposed penalties.
Established in 1956, Faria Beede Instruments Inc. manufactures analog and digital gauges for industrial, recreational use in automobiles and boats in Uncasville and Penacook, New Hampshire.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Windsor Firm Cited for 17 Violations
OSHA’s Hartford Area Office began an inspection of Windsor adhesive tape manufacturer Scapa North America LLC on Jan. 14, 2016, after employees complained of serious electrical hazards.
OSHA found that 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.
These conditions led OSHA to cite Scapa North America for 17 serious violations of workplace safety standards.
The citations carry $78,000 in proposed penalties.
Scapa North America LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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.
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