NY Floor Manufacturer Dinged by OSHA for $182K in Penalties for Unsafe Work Conditions

The safety floor for this New York manufacturer evidently had some holes in it.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on July 17 said it cited Timberline Hardwood Floors LLC for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards. The Fulton, New York, custom hardwood-flooring manufacturer faces proposed penalties totaling $182,917.

OSHA cited the company for failing to implement lockout-tagout procedures to prevent machines from unintentionally starting; adequately train forklift operators; repair exposed electrical circuits; and develop hearing conservation and chemical hazard communication programs. OSHA also cited the company for allowing locked emergency exits, unguarded machines, and unlabeled hazardous materials and chemicals.

“During this inspection, OSHA identified serious hazards that posed a threat to workers’ safety and health,” said OSHA Syracuse Area Office Assistant Director Jeffrey Prebish. “Unfortunately, Timberline Hardwood Floors LLC ignored its obligation to protect employees from these well-known issues.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the safety and health citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Postscript: My thanks to Jon Hyman for including this blog entry in his Ohio Employer Law Blog July 27 weekly roundup of legal blogs.

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