The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Cherry Valley Furniture Inc. for failing to correct safety and health hazards previously identified at its Richwood, W.Va. site. The custom-made office furniture company employs 20 workers.
“Cherry Valley Furniture’s refusal to correct the many hazards OSHA found threatens its employees’ safety and health,” said Stanley Elliott, OSHA area director in Charleston, “The significant penalty of $156,840 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protect America’s workers.”
OSHA initiated its investigation in August 2004 in response to a complaint alleging that the company had not abated machine guarding and ventilation violations cited after an OSHA inspection in May. Cherry Valley Furniture now has received 24 failure-to-abate notices from OSHA, with a proposed penalty of $149,640. The company also was issued citations for three alleged repeat violations with a proposed penalty of $4,800, and two alleged serious violations with a proposed penalty of $7,200.
The failure-to-abate notices address spray paint booth hazards; respirator deficiencies; lack of fire extinguisher training; electrical hazards, machine guarding hazards; recording errors; and a lack of hazard communication training. The repeat violations include electrical hazards; failure to maintain a clean and orderly place of employment; and failure to post the citations from the May 2004 inspection. The serious violations include deficiencies related to personal protection equipment and various electrical hazards.
A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Repeat citations are issued when an inspection reveals failure to comply with standards for which the business has previously been cited.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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