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Local News

May 14, 2014

Local firm fined $93K for safety problems

SALISBURY — A local manufacturer has been fined more than $93,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for what the agency said is an unsafe work environment that’s led to repeated and serious violations.

According to OSHA, inspectors found workers at Andover Healthcare Inc.’s Fanaras Drive plant in Salisbury were “at risk of being caught in machinery or crushed,” based on findings in the agency’s inspection that took place on Jan. 9. The company, founded in 1976, makes coated fabrics and adhesives for the health care industry.

When OSHA’s Andover area office personnel performed the inspection, it was discovered the company inadequately trained employees to implement proper procedures that protect workers who service or maintain dangerous machines, according to OSHA’s press release.

“It’s vital that employers develop and implement adequate lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance,” OSHA’s director for Middlesex/Essex counties Jeffery Erskine is quoted in the release. “Failure to do so places employees at risk of being caught in or crushed by machinery if it turns on during service or maintenance.”

The result of OSHA’s recent findings is $93,200 in proposed fines, which include $65,000 for two repeat violations for recurring hazards. OSHA found workers exposed to striking and crushing hazards from damaged or insecurely anchored steel storage racks and an unmarked crane lift, according to the release.

Additional hazards included unguarded machinery, a defective power cord and obstructed exit access, which resulted in citations for seven serious violations, with $26,200 in fines, as well as two other-than-serious violations, with $2,000 in fines, for failure to record injuries properly which resulted in medical treatment or lost workdays, according to OSHA.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility within the last five years, which applies to Andover Healthcare for it was fined previously in 2010 for similar hazards, according to OSHA.

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