OSHA cites Rydal plant for safety, health violations
by Matt Shinall
Jan 26, 2012 | 3114 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Morgantown, Pa.-based Morgan Corp., doing business as Morgan Truck Body, for 24 safety and health violations following a July inspection at the company's manufacturing plant in Rydal. OSHA initiated the inspection under its Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $93,000.

One repeat violation with a $30,000 fine has been cited for failing to provide welding screens for employees performing welding operations and those working in adjacent areas. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company received citations for similar violations at its Ephrata, Pa., plant in 2007.

Seventeen serious violations with penalties of $63,000 involve failing to keep exits unobstructed; develop specific lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources; periodically inspect energy control procedures; train workers on the hazardous energy control program and lockout/tagout procedures; provide training on hazardous chemicals such as titanium dioxide, xylene, argon, carbon dioxide and propane; secure and cap gas cylinders before storing; correct several electrical deficiencies; and provide machine guarding; as well as operating a forklift with an unsecured gas cylinder creating a safety hazard.

Additionally, employees were allowed to bypass a constant pressure switch on portable handheld drills. 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.

Six other-than-serious violations with no monetary penalty involve failing to provide head protection to employees working under heavy materials; mount a fire extinguisher and have it readily available in the maintenance area; train and certify forklift operators; label the petroleum gas storage tank with contents and warnings; develop or implement a noise monitoring program; and ensure appropriate waste receptacles were being used for the disposal of spray painting waste. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"The size of the penalties and the number of violations is an indication of the gravity of the hazards at this facility. This employer is putting workers at risk by exposing them to electrical, amputations and fire hazards," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. "It is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace to prevent from workers from being injured."

The Morgan Truck Body plant in Rydal manufacturers and assembles heavy duty truck bodies for Home Depot, Lowe's, UPS, FedEx and Ryder System Inc. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.

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 Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301.

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 www.osha.gov.