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OSHA proposes nearly $43,000 in fines against North Haven, Conn., firearms manufacturer for machine hazards (8/26)

Widespread machine guarding and lockout/tagout hazards at a North Haven, Conn., manufacturer of small firearms has resulted in $42,850 in proposed fines from OSHA, according to an agency press release.

The Marlin Firearms Co. has been cited for a total of 24 alleged serious and other-than-serious violations of workplace safety standards following a comprehensive OSHA inspection that began March 3 at the company's plant at 100 Kenna Drive.

OSHA's inspection identified dozens of instances throughout the plant where workers were exposed to possible lacerations, amputation and crushing injuries from unguarded moving parts of mechanical power presses and other machinery as well as a lack of specific procedures to prevent the accidental startup of numerous machines during set-up, maintenance and repair. The inspection also found electrical, fall and compressed air hazards as well as improperly recorded injuries and illnesses.

"Workers can lose their fingers, limbs or lives in a few seconds if a machine starts up unexpectedly or its moving parts are not guarded against contact," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "There is no reason for those injuries to occur if the employer ensures the proper safeguards are effectively and continuously in place and in use."

OSHA has issued the company 20 serious citations, with $41,850 in fines for the safety hazards, and four other-than- serious citations, with a $1,000 fine for a recordkeeping violation. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, meet with OSHA, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office, telephone 203-579-5581.

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