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OSHA Cites Finkl for Violations Found During Follow-Up Inspection

Feb. 28, 2008
Agency says forger has not corrected 2006 violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $140,000 in fines against Chicago forger A. Finkl & Sons for two, alleged willful violations of federal workplace safety standards. The violations were discovered during an August 2007 follow-up inspection relating to a 2006 violation. In September 2006 OSHA cited Finkl for three willful and seven serious violations concerning a lack of guardrails and/or covers for open pits, vats, tanks, and other hazardous openings. The serious violations concerned fall protection, personal protective equipment, electrical hazards, and guards for moving belts. The follow-up inspection last August found that Finkl still has not provided adequate guardrails over tanks and pits, and has failed to keep industrial trucks in clean and safe operating condition. "It's disappointing when we find on re-inspection that problems which may lead to death or serious injury still exist," stated OSHA area director Diane Turek. "There is no excuse for this kind of attitude toward the safety of employees." According to OSHA, the agency has inspected Finkl’s forging plant 19 times since 1972, and 12 inspections have led to citations for safety violations. During that time, there have been two safety-related fatalities at the plant, and in 2003 an employee was injured when he jumped to escape a burning powered industrial truck. The fire was caused by accumulated hydraulic oil that ignited during transport of a heated metal ingot. A. Finkl & Sons has 15 business days to comply with the penalty citations, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.