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A Virginia manufacturer is facing $172,000 in proposed fines from federal safety and health regulators for exposing its workers to amputation and other hazards.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Richmond, Virginia-based Alfa Laval Inc. for eight serious, three repeat and two other violations at its Houston facility, according to an agency news release issued on Tuesday.
The manufacturer exposed workers to struck-by and amputation hazards by failing to implement an energy control program that included training, procedures or periodic inspections, failed to guard machinery to prevent workers' exposure to crushed-by and caught-in hazards, and failed to provide workers with effective workplace information and training on hazardous chemicals, according to the release.
OSHA cited Alfa Laval for the same or similar violations in an August 2011 inspection at its Lykens, Pennsylvania facility and in a May 2012 inspection at its Wood Dale, Illinois facility, according to the agency.
“Working on a machine without safety guards can cost someone a limb or their life,” Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in the Houston North office, said in a statement. “Alfa Laval has a responsibility to find and fix hazards in the workplace which endanger its employees. OSHA will not tolerate employers that ignore commonsense safety requirements.”
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's final silica rule will be expensive and difficult for employers to meet and ignores the benefits of respiratory devices in reducing silica dust exposure, according to employer representatives.