The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has charged Kennedy Valve, Elmira, NY, with a series of 30 serious safety and health standards violations, following an inspection of the iron foundry conducted under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program. The charges carry fines totaling $68,000.
The program investigates conditions at workplaces with higher than average injury and illness rates, according to OSHA, an agency of the U.S. Dept. of Labor. OSHA issues a “serious” citation when it determines that a workplace hazard presents a likely threat of death or serious physical harm to workers, and the condition is one about which the employer knew or should have known.
Kennedy Valve is a division of a McWane Inc. that manufactures cast-iron fire hydrants and valves of all types, for water distribution.
According to OSHA’s area director Christopher R. Adams, "The citations address hazards associated with cranes, scaffolds, flammable liquids, forklifts, personal protective equipment, machine guarding, electrical equipment and exit access. Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to the dangers of fire, lacerations, amputation, chemical burns, crushing, falls, and eye, face and hand injuries."
The agency details that the citations specify Kennedy Valve’s:
- failure to maintain overhead hoists and cranes, mobile scaffolds, and mobile ladder stands;
- lack of safe access to elevated work platforms;
- unlabeled exit access doors;
- uncovered containers of flammable liquids;
- lack of fire extinguishers where flammable liquids and gas were dispensed;
- unbonded and ungrounded containers of flammable liquids;
- lack of personal protective equipment for employees working with caustics, chainsaws, and electrical equipment;
- lack of an emergency eyewash station;
- an inadequately maintained forklift and forklift passageway;
- unguarded moving machine parts;
- ungrounded electrical equipment;
- inadequately maintained paint spray booths; and
- failure to properly lock out overhead cranes.