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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 8, 2011

OSHA cites Met Weld for repeat and serious hazards

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Met Weld International is in the midst of settlement talks with the federal Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the company was fined nearly $50,000 due to violations.

Met Weld, located on Ostrander Road, is an engineering-based company serving the gas processing markets; it does welding, machining, fabrication, and has assembly facilities, according to its business description.

OSHA, according to a press release from the labor department, began inspections of Met Weld’s plant in April, and over 21 violations of safety and health standards were discovered.

Laurel Collins, at director of human resources at Met Weld, declined to comment.

Eight of the violations were serious, and included a storage cabinet for flammable liquids that did not meet fire resistance requirements; an auger that did not have its power source locked out; blocked and un-mounted fire extinguishers; lack of fire-extinguisher training; a non-working horn on a powered industrial truck; an unsecured power press; an unguarded grinder; and the lack of a high temperature or carbon monoxide alarm.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, according to OSHA. 

There were two repeat violations, similar to violations cited by OSHA in 2006, and 11 “other-than-serious” violations, which included incorrect recording of occupational injuries, tripping hazards, and a missing respirator tag.

According to OSHA, Met Weld had 15 days from the date of citation, which was Aug. 24, to comply, schedule a meeting with OSHA, or contest the findings.

“We’re in the midst of settlement talks,” said Michael Levy, assistant area director for OSHA, yesterday. He said OSHA always encourages the cited employers to come in for an informal conference to discuss the violations and penalties.

“We can work with them; we have the ability to adjust the penalties, citations, or dates for compliance,” Levy said.

If a settlement is not reached, the case could be sent to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Committee, a judicial body, said Levy.

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