OSHA proposes fines totaling US$101,000 against pallet manufacturer Kamps for 10 violations including failing to use equipment as directed, lack of hearing conservation program at its wood pallet plant in Versailles, Ohio

VERSAILLES, Ohio , May 1, 2012 (press release) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Kamps Inc. for 10 safety and health- including one willful - violations at its Versailles wood pallet manufacturing facility. OSHA's inspection was initiated on Nov. 4, 2011, under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which expands the scope of a routine inspection to cover all hazards associated with the employer's industry. Proposed fines total $101,000.

The willful safety violation involves a lack of audiometric testing to determine workers' exposure to noise greater than 85 decibels for a time-weighted average of eight hours. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

One serious health violation is failing to provide workers with hearing conservation training and the appropriate hearing protection. Four serious safety violations involve failing to use equipment in a manner consistent with labels, provide safety training to maintenance workers performing live electrical work, ensure that authorized workers conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures and provide personal protective equipment for employees performing electrical work. 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.

Four other-than-serious health and safety violations involve failing to post OSHA's hearing conservation standard, provide a selection of hearing protection options, ensure that lockout devices indicate the identity of the workers applying the devices and ensure that the path to ground on branch electrical circuits is maintained. 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.

"Kamps is liable for monitoring noise exposure and providing hearing protection," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Kamps-108617-108713-0423-12.pdf.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Kamps Inc. employs approximately 500 workers across the Midwest. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.

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.

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