Colt Weapons Firm in Conn. Says It Will Contest Safety Fines

The two gun making companies that share the Colt name and the same West Hartford, Conn. plant are facing federal safety fines of more than $220,000.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is citing the two privately held companies for a series of alleged workplace safety violations.

Colt Defense, which develops weapons for military and law enforcement use, faces $151,500 in fines for 29 citations for explosion hazards, improper disposal of combustible materials and untrained employees, among other violations, OSHA officials said Tuesday.

Colt’s Manufacturing Co., which makes handguns and rifles for commercial sales, faces $71,500 in fines for 21 citations. The alleged violations include failing to maintain respirators in a sanitary condition and failing to replace a worn wire rope on an overhead hoist.

A spokesman said both companies are privately held with some common owners.

“These citations encompass a cross-section of chemical, electrical and mechanical hazards that can result in burns, lacerations, amputation, crushing injuries, electrocution, explosions and lead poisoning if they are not promptly and fully addressed and corrected,” C. William Freeman III, the head of OSHA’s Hartford office said.

An attorney for Colt Defense issued a statement saying the company objects to the citations and will contest them.

A message seeking comment was left at Colt’s Manufacturing Wednesday morning.

The companies have 15 business days to contest the citations.