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Region 1 News Release: 10-1010-BOS/BOS 2010-326
Wed., July 28, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

Widespread chemical, mechanical and electrical hazards at Eastford, Conn., aircraft
parts maker leads to nearly $140,000 in US Labor Department's OSHA fines

HARTFORD, Conn. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Whitcraft LLC for 44 alleged serious violations of workplace standards at its Eastford, Conn., aircraft parts manufacturing plant. The company faces a total of $139,680 in proposed fines for fire, explosion, chemical, mechanical and electrical hazards identified during comprehensive safety and health inspections of the plant begun in January of this year.

"These sizable fines reflect the breadth and gravity of the hazardous conditions identified during our inspection at this workplace, conditions which should not have existed in the first place," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's acting area director in Hartford. "For the safety and health of the plant's workers, Whitcraft must address these issues promptly and comprehensively to eliminate them and prevent their recurrence in the future."

The serious citations address numerous instances of unguarded or inadequately guarded moving machine parts that exposed workers to the risk of laceration, amputation or crushing injuries; electrical hazards including misused electrical equipment, lack of safe electrical work practices and personal protective equipment, and employees working on live electrical equipment; fire and explosion hazards stemming from combustible dust in improperly designed processing equipment and dust collection systems; combustible materials stored next to a heated press adjacent to an exit route; flammable liquids used in close proximity to ign