Although some have questioned it recently, OSHA is serious about enforcement these days. The agency came down hard on a manufacturer inspected under its “site-specific targeting program.”
Following an inspection that began in August and concluded early in January, OSHA proposed penalties of $133,500 against New Venture Gear of New York, LLC. The company manufactures transfer cases for 4-wheel drive vehicles. OSHA cited the New Venture for 32 alleged violations. Located in East Syracuse, New York, New Venture is alleged to have exposed employees to numerous hazards, including unguarded machinery and electrical hazards. The OSHA Area Office in Syracuse issued 27 serious citations ranging from failure to provide fall protection on aerial lifts, to failure to guard floor openings, and not maintaining dry floors. Three alleged repeat violations were issued as well.
The site-specific initiative targets OSHA inspections of employers with high rates of lost workday injuries and illnesses. New Venture was previously inspected in 1999 under a similar program and was issued citations that carried a proposed penalty of more than $100,000. The U.S. Secretary of Labor stated, “OSHA standards are aimed at keeping the workplace safe and healthy. This employer placed workers at risk by not eliminating hazards that had been pointed out more than two years ago.” OSHA says employers can be proactive in avoiding similar enforcement action by becoming familiar with the site-specific program, and by learning what types of citations have been issued to similar businesses with comparable hazards.
More information about the site-specific program is available on OSHA’s website: click here.