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OSHA fines Pa. manufacturer $65,800 for crane hazards (8/11)

OSHA has cited Schuylkill Products Inc. in Cressona, Pa., for alleged workplace safety and health violations, proposing $65,800 in penalties.

OSHA initiated an investigation on March 4 in response to a complaint. As a result of the investigation, the company received citations for one willful violation with a $56,000 penalty and two serious violations, with a $9,800 penalty.

Investigators issued the willful citation after finding cranes being loaded beyond their rated load capacity during normal operations. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health.

The serious violations were cited for overhead cranes that were not equipped with devices that would prevent the automatic restart of the crane's motor in the event of a power failure, and for failing to perform annual crane inspections. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

"The employer regularly lifted 60-107 tons of precast concrete beams with cranes ill- equipped to handle this kind of load, exposing workers to a variety of hazards," said Mark Stelmack, area director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre office.

Schuylkill Products Inc. is a precast concrete manufacturer that employs about 125 workers.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office; telephone: 570-826-6538.

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