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Complaint leads to $61,000 penalty against New York packaging company (4/15)

April 15, 2009

OSHA has cited Concept Packaging Inc. of Newburgh, N.Y., for 37 alleged violations of safety and health standards at its Dupont Avenue plant. The enamel bottling and packaging company faces $61,000 in proposed fines following OSHA inspections initiated in October 2008 in response to a complaint about unsafe conditions.

"These citations encompass a cross-section of flammable, electrical, machine guarding and exit access hazards as well as inadequate personal protective equipment, hazard communication and powered industrial truck training," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's area director in Albany. "These conditions must be addressed promptly and effectively so that workers are not exposed to potentially fatal burns and amputation hazards."

Some conditions identified by OSHA include blocked exit doors and routes; a blocked and restricted fire suppression system; an inadequate flammable storage room; improper storage of flammables; inadequate electrical equipment; inadequate personal protective equipment; lack of hazard communication training; and various machine guarding hazards.

These conditions resulted in the issuance of 35 serious citations with $59,500 in proposed 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. OSHA also has issued the company two other-than-serious citations, with $1,500 in proposed fines, for inadequate injury and illness recordkeeping.

"One of the best means of preventing serious workplace hazards is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which management and employees work together to actively identify, analyze and eliminate work-related hazards," said Jerome.

Concept Packaging has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Albany or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. These inspections were conducted by OSHA's Albany Area Office; telephone 518-464-4338.