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OSHA proposes $137,000+ in fines against packaging manufacturer for fire, electrical and mechanical hazards (10/11)

OSHA has cited Amgraph Packaging Inc., which manufactures and distributes packaging for food and tobacco products, for 60 serious and other-than-serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its plant in Versailles, Conn. The company faces a total of $137,250 in proposed fines.

"Our inspections identified a broad cross-section of electrical, mechanical, chemical, fire and fall hazards throughout the workplace," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's acting area director in Hartford. "These hazards were compounded by inadequate recording of workplace injuries, which can mask conditions that could injure or sicken workers. For the safety and health of its employees, Amgraph must correct these conditions and take effective steps to ensure that they do not occur again."

Specifically, OSHA found that workers at the plant who responded to structural fires were not trained to do so; fire extinguishers were not checked and tested; fire doors were not kept in proper working order at all times; spark-producing tools were used to open containers of flammable liquids; and goggles and emergency eyewash and shower facilities were not provided for employees working with corrosives. Investigators also found inadequate chemical labeling and hazard communication training; fall hazards from uncovered floor holes and missing guardrails; lack of specific lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental energy start-up; several instances of unguarded moving machine parts; numerous electrical hazards; and improper recording of on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

All told, Amgraph was issued 46 serious citations with $129,150 in proposed penalties and 14 other-than-serious citations with $8,100 in fines. 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.

Amgraph Packaging has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Hartford Area Office; telephone 860-240-3152. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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