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Region 1 News Release: 11-1129-BOS/BOS 2011-272
Aug. 1, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Putnam, Conn., filter manufacturer
for safety and health hazards; more than $121,000 in fines proposed

HARTFORD, Conn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Pallflex Co. for 29 alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Putnam manufacturing plant. The filter manufacturer faces a total of $121,650 in proposed fines following a comprehensive OSHA inspection opened in January.

"The sizable penalties proposed here reflect the breadth and severity of the conditions found during this inspection," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Left uncorrected, they expose employees to injury, illness or death from falls, lacerations, being caught in moving machinery, electrocution, fire, hearing loss, or being overcome by an oxygen-deficient or toxic atmosphere while working in a confined space. Effective steps must be taken to correct these conditions and prevent their recurrence."

OSHA's inspection identified a variety of hazards that can occur in a manufacturing environment, resulting in citations for 24 serious violations carrying $120,650 in proposed fines. They include fall hazards from unguarded tank platforms; improper storage and dispensing of flammable liquids; inadequate personal protective equipment; lack of a confined space program and procedures to safeguard workers who enter storage tanks; no annual fire extinguisher training; unguarded operating machine parts; several electrical-related hazards; lack of a hearing conservation program; and failure to perform initial formaldehyde exposure monitoring. A serious violation