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Region 5 News Release: 08-960-CHI
July 29, 2008
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA cites Springfield, Ohio, company for workplace safety and health violations
Violations include overexposing employees to silica

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $114,600 in fines against O.S. Kelly Co. in Springfield for alleged serious, repeat and failure-to-abate violations of federal workplace safety standards.

OSHA selected O.S. Kelly for inspection as a follow-up to a February 2007 inspection that resulted in citations for overexposing employees to silica. The company manufactures and refurbishes piano plates for Steinway & Sons. As a result of OSHA's follow-up inspection, opened in January 2008, the federal agency issued citations alleging three serious violations with proposed penalties of $5,400, three repeat violations with proposed penalties totaling $19,200 and one citation for failure-to-abate with penalties totaling $90,000.

The serious violations address hazards associated with confined space entry and personal protective equipment. Repeat violations address problems with respirator fit testing and employee overexposure to crystalline silica during cut-off operations. The failure-to-abate violation addresses employee overexposure to silica during the grinding of piano plates.

"This industry is historically well acquainted with the threat that overexposure to silica poses to the health and lives of employees," said Richard Gilgrist, director of OSHA's area office in Cincinnati. "Employers must remain