If a company is left to its own devices, there’s a good chance that some of the procedures they are supposed to follow may fall by the wayside. That’s why it’s important for companies to be regularly reviewed when it comes to the safety standards by which they abide. When companies are found to have failed to maintain acceptable safety standards, they need to be fined accordingly to keep them from repeating the same poor behavior.
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had an incident of this nature recently. OSHA cited 15 violations made by Har-Conn Chrome Co. Inc. in West Hartford, CT regarding their workplace health and safety standards. Due to their failure to operate in accordance with OSHA’s safety standards, the metal finishing company is now liable to pay a total of $66,220 in fines. OSHA’s investigation of Har-Conn Chrome Co. Inc. began after their Hartford Area Office received a complaint about the company’s operations.
One of the most serious infractions discovered during OSHA’s most recent inspection of Har-Conn Chrome Co. Inc.’s plant was that employees are being exposed to a number of mechanical and chemical hazards. Not only is this hugely problematic because of its danger, but the company was already cited for similar violations during an OSHA inspection in 2010. Exposure of this kind leaves employees at risk of chemical burns, injuries to their eyes, lacerations and other harm. It’s critical that the plant takes correction measures to create a safer work environment for its employees.
Workers at Har-Conn Chrome Co. Inc. do not have access to emergency eyewash stations or eye and face protection when working near caustic liquids. Additionally, there is insufficient guarding placed on grinding and shafting machinery. Containers of hazardous chemicals were also found to be unlabeled. These violations are all similar to citations the plant already received in 2010 as well.
Of the $66,220 that Har-Conn is being fined, $36,960 of that is for six repeat citations. Repeat citations are issued if an employer violates any standard more than once within a five year timespan.
Additional citations total $29,260, and were for the following violations:
- failure to monitor workers’ exposure levels to formaldehyde
- failure to conduct an asbestos survey
- failure to provide hand protection
- failure to train workers on using fire extinguishers
- lack of first-aid supplies
- failure to ensure an adequate workspace around spray booths
- failure to properly dispose of combustible waste materials
The aforementioned violations are classed as serious violations, as they have a good chance of resulting in death or serious injury, and the employer knew or should have known the risk.
After receiving the citations, the company has 15 business days to comply, meet informally with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent OSHA Review Commission.