The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Boundary Fence and Railing Systems Inc. for 14 repeat and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at the company’s Marlborough manufacturing plant. The Richmond Hill, N.Y., maker of fencing materials faces $82,080 in fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Andover Area Office begun in July in response to a complaint.
“These conditions exposed workers to struck-by and crushing injuries, electric shock, laceration hazards, being caught in operating machinery, hearing loss and exposure to hazardous chemicals,” said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. “This employer must address these hazards promptly and effectively to ensure safe and healthful working conditions.”
OSHA found several hazards similar to those cited during prior inspections of the Marlborough plant and the company’s Wingdale, N.Y., plant. These include exits obstructed by stored fencing materials; table saws lacking blade guards and anti-kickback devices; and a table saw that lacked proper electrical grounding. As a result, OSHA issued four repeat citations and $35,640 in fines for these recurring hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The inspection also identified hazards, such as exposure to high noise levels; not storing hearing protection plugs in a sanitary and reliable manner; not providing workers with respirator information; and unsecured storage of fencing materials. Other hazards included improper storage of propane fuel tanks; an unguarded rotating pulley; no provisions to prevent the automatic restart of a drill press and a table saw after a power failure; several electrical hazards; and lack of a chemical hazard communication program and training. These conditions resulted in 10 serious citations with $46,440 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Boundary Fence and Railing Systems 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.