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OSHA Proposes $123,000 Fine For N.Y. Manufacturer

Mon, 02/11/2013 - 10:06am
Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Albany, N.Y. (Manufacturing.net) — Hunter Panels LLC has been given a citation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 23 “serious” safety violations, including deficiencies in its safety management program, at the company’s Kingston, N.Y., production plant.

Hunter Panels LLC, headquartered in Portland, Maine, and has other manufacturing facilities in Florida, Texas, Illinois, Utah and Pennsylvania. The company manufactures and distributes polyiso insulation panels for roofing and other vertical applications within the U.S.

OSHA says the deficiencies in the company’s safety management program involved n-pentane, an organic compound used in the manufacturing process. The chemical can be fatal in minutes with a large dose. OSHA says the program must include “a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to address proactively hazards associated with processes and equipment involving large amounts of hazardous chemicals.”

In addition, the company was missing process safety information, failed to develop and implement safe work practices, and did not follow-up on the findings of compliance audits or document any corrective actions. The N.Y. plant also had an insufficient emergency response, a lack of personal equipment, accumulation of combustible dust, and fall hazards.

In a statement, Kimberly Castillon, OSHA's area director in Albany, said: "The stringent and comprehensive requirements of OSHA's process safety management standard are designed to prevent catastrophic incidents, such as the uncontrolled release of highly hazardous chemicals. The safety and well-being of employees requires full, effective and proactive adherence to the standard's requirements by the employer."

OSHA says the company has 15 days to respond to the citations and penalties, either in the form of compliance or a contesting of the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA also encourages workers to report fatalities, serious injuries or situatiosn posing an immediate danger to employees to call 800-321-OSHA.

The citations can be read here: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HunterCitations.pdf

 

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