OSHA Proposes Fines Exceeding $60,000 for Wisconsin Manufacturer

Employees bypassed safety switches on manufacturing equipment, according to allegations.

A Waukesha, Wisc., manufacturer faces penalties in excess of $60,000 for 19 alleged violations discovered during a January 2010 inspection, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday.

KBRK, doing business as Baird Display, received a willful citation with a proposed penalty of $35,000. OSHA says it found that employees were bypassing safety switches to reach into running machinery to remove jams without shutting down the machine.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the laws requirements, or indifference to employee safety, OSHA explains.

Eighteen serious citations also were issued, with proposed penalties of $25,750. Alleged violations include failure to provide guardrails and other fall protection from platforms; to have proper guarding on machinery or rotating shafts; and to establish a lockout/tagout energy control program.

The company, which makes displays, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to company, request a conference with OSHAs area director, or contest the findings.

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