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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OSHA News Release: [11/27/2012]
Contact Name: Ted Fitzgerald or Andre J. Bowser
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075 or x2074
Release Number: 12-2313-BOS

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Bristol, Conn., metal stamping plant for 30 serious safety violations, proposes $139,000 in fines

OSHA finds mechanical, electrical, fall, exit access and combustible dust hazards

HARTFORD, Conn. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Associated Spring-Barnes Group Inc. for 30 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company's Bristol metal stamping plant. The company faces a total of $139,000 in proposed fines for electrical, mechanical, exit access, fall and combustible dust hazards identified during an inspection by OSHA's Hartford Area Office.

"The sizable fines proposed in this case reflect the breadth and seriousness of the hazards identified at this work site," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Left uncorrected, they expose the plant's employees to burns, falls, electric shocks, lacerations, amputations, hearing loss, fires and explosions, and being unable to exit the workplace safely in the event of an emergency. For the safety of its workers, this employer must take effective and expeditious action to eliminate these conditions and prevent their recurrence."

Specifically, OSHA found that combustible dust was allowed to accumulate, two of the plant's dust collection systems lacked controls to prevent or suppress fires and explosions, and three emergency exit routes led through areas where the dust collection systems would vent if a fire occurred. Inspectors also found a variety of machine guarding, electrical and fall hazards; damaged protective gloves; and an improperly stored container of combustible liquid. Finally, the employer did not provide an emergency eyewash, refitted hearing protection for employees who sustained a standard threshold shift in their hearing and a fire extinguisher in an area where combustible aluminum is cut.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The inspection was conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on workplaces with rates of workdays lost due to injuries and illnesses that are higher than industry averages.

The citations can be viewed at

Associated Spring-Barnes Group has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency's offices in Hartford at 860-240-3153 or Bridgeport at 203-579-5581.

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 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.