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OSHA cites manufacturer for spray finishing, safety hazards

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A Pennsylvania manufacturer has been cited for the second time this year by federal regulators for serious safety and health violations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 15 serious citations and proposed penalties of $43,600 last week against Portersville Sales & Testing Inc., a gas tubes and truck trailer manufacturing company based in Portersville, Pennsylvania, according to an agency news release issued on Thursday. The company's corporate headquarters are located in Amarillo, Texas.

OSHA initiated an inspection in June in response to a complaint alleging spray booth hazards and health concerns related to the company's painting operations, according to the release.

The company was cited for using flammable materials in its trailer spraying operation and using a homemade jack stand to lift trailers, which exposed employees to crush-by hazards, the agency said. Portersville was also cited for exposing employees to fall hazards when accessing the roof of the building, as well as excessive amounts of dust, which can have both short and long-term health effects, according to the release.

“Spray finishing with flammables and supporting heavy equipment with non-proof tested jacks can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly,” Christopher Robinson, OSHA's area director in Pittsburgh, said in a statement. “Porterville Sales & Testing Inc. has once again not met its obligation to provide a safe and healthful work environment for its employees.”

OSHA previously cited the company in July for seven serious and three other-than-serious safety and health violations and proposed $18,445 in penalties— an amount lowered to $11,989 after informal settlement talks with the firm, according to the agency.

Portersville's workers compensation carrier is Liberty Mutual Holding Co., according to the release. The company and the insurer could not be immediately reached for comment.