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Amityville company fined again by OSHA

An Amityville company fined for safety violations last year, after an employee lost five fingers while operating machinery, now has a new fine of nearly $139,000 to pay for failing to correct those violations, a federal agency said Thursday.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration also added Simtek Inc. to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which the agency said “focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers.”

No one answered a phone at the number listed for the company Thursday.

OSHA said the latest fine stemmed from a follow-up inspection in January to determine if the metal-fabrication company had corrected violations. The violations were uncovered after the employee lost his fingers because his hand became stuck in the rollers of a machine.

OSHA cited the company for 20 violations, which at the time included unguarded moving-machine parts, including rollers, and proposed $60,600 in penalties. OSHA said the company hasn't yet paid those penalties, and it referred the case to its debt-collection team.

In the follow-up inspection, the agency said, it found that eight of the violations hadn't been corrected. They included a lack of procedures to lock out machines' power sources to keep them from starting up during maintenance, and failure to provide training and tools to workers who perform maintenance.

“This employer was required to correct all hazards cited during our last inspection and had ample opportunity to do so; yet almost half of the violations were never corrected,” said Anthony Ciuffo, director of OSHA's Long Island office, which conducted the investigations.

OSHA also said that the new $138,765 fine includes $26,400 for “repeat violations” that encompass, in part, a locked exit door and unprotected power cords. The fine also includes $2,640 for a “serious violation” involving circuit breakers blocked by a gas tank and welding machine.

When the agency proposes fines, companies have 15 business days from the time they receive a notice to comply with the findings or to contest them.

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