An inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prompted by an employee complaint resulted in over $76,000 in fines for a Clinton, Mass., cable manufacturer.

OSHA investigators cited the company for failure to protect workers against a variety of hazards ranging from crushing and falls to burns and electrocution, including 27 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

According to Ronald E. Morin, OSHA area director for central and western Massachusetts, the alleged violations encompass such hazards as overloaded hoists; an unsecured personnel platform; unguarded or inadequately guarded work platforms; numerous electrical hazards; and numerous instances of unguarded or inadequately guarded moving machine parts.

Additional serious citations concern lack of personal protective equipment; defective fork lift trucks left in service; absent or inadequate eyewash stations where required; a defective ladder left in service; defective lifting slings; and slipping hazards from oil and water accumulating on work floors. The company was also cited for four alleged other-than-serious violations for unlabeled slings, an inoperative interlock and unsecured electrical outlets. The proposed penalties total $76,325.

"These citations address a cross-section of basic safety concerns for a manufacturing environment," said Morin. "Left uncorrected, these cited conditions expose employees to such potential injuries as falls, crushing, electrocution, burns, lacerations and being caught by or in moving machinery."

OSHA defines a serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. An other-than-serious violation is a condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.

Rockbestos-Suprenant Cable Corp. scheduled an informal conference with OSHA to discuss the citations.

edited by Sandy Smith (ssmith@penton.com)