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Steel factory fined for hazard exposures, lack of protective equipment

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A Connecticut steel foundry is facing $104,000 in proposed fines from federal health and safety regulators for exposing its employees to electrical, chemical, mechanical and fire hazards and a lack of personal protective equipment.

Inspections by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found employees at PCC Structurals Inc. in Groton, Connecticut, faced the risk of chemical burns, fire, lacerations, amputations, electric shock and other injuries, the agency said Friday in a statement. The foundry casts components for aerospace, energy and commercial applications.

OSHA cited the company for 22 serious violations for hazards such as a lack of hand, face and body protection for employees working on or near electrical equipment, exposed electrical parts, unguarded points of operation of hydraulic presses, inadequate safety glasses for employees working with chemicals, inadequately labeled containers of hazardous chemicals and flammable liquids not being stored in closed containers, according to the statement.

“Our inspections identified a disturbing cross section of hazards that could result in eye, face or body injuries, burns or hearing loss for employees at the Groton location as well as potential fires or explosions,” Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford, Connecticut, said in a statement. “It's imperative for the health and well-being of its employees that PCC Structurals takes comprehensive, effective and ongoing corrective action to eliminate these hazards.”

“PCC Structurals is committed to maintaining a safe workplace for its employees,” the company said in a statement. “We received the OSHA report and have taken the necessary steps to address the findings.”