HUBBARD - Warren Fabricating and Machining could pay as much as $47,000 in fines for safety infractions at its Chestnut Ridge Road location, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated Tuesday in a news release.
Warren Fabricating and Machining manufactures steam turbines, gas turbines and generators, among other products. The company was cited on 60 violations over seven OSHA inspections since 1991.
According to the citation report obtained from OSHA, a November inspection revealed 10 "serious" violations.
The news release states, "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."
The infractions at the Hubbard plant range from failure to maintain equipment to inadequate enforcement of safety and training regulations, and each infraction is accompanied by a fine of $4,000 to $7,000.
Three violations address the company's failure to ensure energy control and lockout / tag-out policies were in effect and being enforced.
Rhonda Burke, a Region 5 spokeswoman for OSHA, said that while the violations were all serious, they were not willful or egregious.
"They haven't been placed into the severe violator program," she said. "These are violations that are very easily fixed."
Burke said none of the violations are for repeat offenses, but that if employees have not sustained any severe injuries from such infractions, employers can become complacent and lax in enforcement of safety protocols.
"I think that's the message from OSHA. Protect your workers. They're your most valuable asset. Why have a needless accident when simple precautions can prevent that?"
Warren Fabricating President Eric Rebhen could not be reached for comment.
For all violations that were not corrected during inspection, the report states that Warren Fabricating has until Jan. 15 to comply, to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the findings before the independent OSHA review commission.
Item 1 of the report states that Warren Fabricating implemented an energy control program for the facility but did not establish practices for each specific machine.
Item 2 claims failure to perform periodic audits of the the energy control and lockout / tag-out procedures, and Item 3 states that employees were not adequately trained in the energy control procedures.
Item 4 states that the employer did not document or certify refresher training for forklift operators every three years, per OSHA standards.
Item 5 states that two Yale forklifts were in disrepair, including inoperative warning lights, inoperative and damaged horns, and "extremely worn" tires. The report notes that both violations were corrected during the inspection.
Item 6 states the plant's bridge and gantry cranes were not periodically inspected, per standards.
Item 7 claims failure to make sure machine guards are in use for all equipment.
Item 8 cited the plant for failing to maintain safe pressure in air compressors used for cleaning.
Item 9 states there were portable hand grinders throughout the plant that did not have guards.
Item 10 addresses failure to ensure strain-relief on hanging equipment through use of flexible cords and cables. The cords attached to a lighting fixture used during the construction of steam and gas turbines were not properly secured to take strain off of the mounting fixture, the report states.