OSHA inspections following an April 14, 2014, incident in which an employee lost parts of two fingers in an inadequately guarded machine have resulted in citations for 16 serious violations against West Hartford Stairs and Cabinets.
The Connecticut manufacturer of stairs and cabinets faces $60,200 in fines for conditions at its plant in Newington.
"This is exactly the type of serious injury that proper guarding of a machine's operating parts would have prevented," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Equally disturbing were the fire, chemical and electrical hazards identified during our inspections."
In addition to the machine guarding hazards, OSHA found that employees were exposed to fire hazards from a dust collection system that lacked a spark detector to prevent hot metal from entering the dust collector and igniting an explosion. Other fire hazards included improper disposal of flammable rags; accumulations of flammable chemicals on spray booth walls and combustible dust in electrical outlets; and failure to have at least two emergency exits from the spraying room where flammable liquids were used. Additional safety hazards included employees' exposure to falls from an unguarded second-story work platform and eye injuries from using inadequate safety glasses.
The company failed to conduct hazard assessments for proper protective clothing and ensure employees wore protective gloves when working with hazardous chemicals; have an emergency eyewash station; train employees in the physical and health hazards of hazardous chemicals; provide adequate hazard communication training and a hearing threshold exam for an employee exposed to high noise levels; and train employees about noise hazards and health hazards of methylene chloride.