Monday, February 24, 2014

Print manufacturing fraught with safety hazards

Connecticut manufacturer of print reproductions faces penalties for recurring hazards

Chemical hazards and combustible dust
are some of the dangers of print
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Artbeats Inc. for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Cheshire facility in Connecticut.

The company, which manufactures reproductions of prints and paintings, faces $56,430 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office begun Dec. 3, 2013, in response to a worker complaint.

Inspectors found several hazards similar to those cited in June 2010 at the company's Waterbury facility.

These hazards include failing to provide a program to ensure workers are trained to power down and lockout industrial saws prior to conducting maintenance; provide a chemical hazard communication program and training on the risks and safeguards associated with chemicals, such as paints and gels; and prevent usage of unapproved electrical equipment in areas that generate and accumulate combustible wood dust.

"Left uncorrected or allowed to recur, these conditions expose employees to hazardous chemicals, fire, and lacerations and amputation by activated machinery," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport.

"An employer must ensure hazards are consistently and effectively addressed to provide employees a safe and healthful work environment."

The conditions resulted in the issuance of eight repeat citations, with $53,460 in proposed fines. Additionally, one serious citation, with a fine of $2,970, was issued for an inadequately guarded radial arm saw.

Artbeats Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

Source: OSHA 

Chemical fumes, gases, particles and dust can affect worker health and well-being. Electrocorp offers industrial and commercial air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA that can remove those and other contaminants from the ambient air. Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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