winterAn OSHA investigation initiated in response to a complaint that employees of TLD Ace Corp. were exposed to falls while shoveling snow from the plant's roof found additional hazards at the facility.

OSHA inspectors visiting the Windsor, Conn. manufacturing plant in Feb., 2014 and found that workers removing snow from the plant’s roof were exposed to burns, electric shock and yes, falls, due missing or inadequate safeguards.

Injury and illness records cause alarm

"This inspection started with a focus on one hazard, but a review of the plant's illness and injury records showed a higher-than-industry-average rate of workdays lost due to injury and illness. For this reason, we expanded our investigation to encompass the entire plant," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "What we found were conditions that could seriously injure workers or negatively impact their health.”

As a result, OSHA cited the manufacturer of aircraft parts and auxiliary equipment for 17 serious violations of workplace safety standards. TLD Ace Corp. faces $85,146 in proposed fines for these violations.

Workers could fall into an electrical substation

OSHA found that the employees lacked safety railings or fall arrest systems; the roof lacked barricades to keep employees from areas where they could fall into an electrical substation; and a ladder used to access the roof did not extend at least 3 feet over the roof's edge to ensure required stability. The workers faced potential falls of more than 16 feet to the ground below.

Other hazards were misused electrical equipment and wiring; failure to provide proper training and appropriate personal protective equipment to employees who performed electrical testing; improper storage of flammable materials; no sprinklers where flammable adhesive was applied; use of an ungrounded paint sprayer to apply flammable adhesive; failure to retest, refit and retrain an employee whose audiogram revealed a shift in his hearing level, indicating hearing loss; and failure to select and require the use of effective hearing protectors for employees who worked in damaging noise levels.

TLD Ace Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.