OSHA finds Windsor adhesive tape manufacturer exposed workers to widespread electrical, fire, chemical hazards
Employer name: Scapa North America LLC, 111 Great Pond Drive, Windsor, Connecticut.
What prompted OSHA’s inspection: The Hartford Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an inspection of the adhesive tape manufacturer on Jan. 14, 2016, after employees complained of serious electrical hazards.
Investigation findings: OSHA found that the company required untrained, unqualified employees to troubleshoot, reset and repair electrical controls and circuits with exposed, live parts without enclosures or guards to prevent contact. Other electrical hazards included:
- Not enclosing or guarding exposed energized electrical equipment.
- Failing to shield employees from exposed live fuses properly.
- Using flexible electrical cords rather than required fixed wiring to power equipment.
- Placing metal-framed table and chairs near energized electrical equipment.
- Failing to ensure the use of electrical equipment in accordance with its listed or labeled restrictions.
- Not ensuring the suitable use of shop-modified electrical equipment.
Additional hazards identified during the inspection included:
- Improper storage of flammable liquids and rags.
- Not supplying non-sparking tools for employees working near flammable adhesives and solvents.
- Inadequate face, eye and hand protection for employees working with vehicle batteries and not assessing the need for such protection.
- Failing to inspect chain alloy slings periodically.
- Not providing employees with annual respirator fit-testing.
These conditions led OSHA to cite Scapa North America for 17 serious violations of workplace safety standards.
Proposed penalties: $78,000
QUOTE: “The breadth and number of hazards identified during our inspections are of concern. Left uncorrected, they expose employees to potential injuries or worse from electric shock, fire, deficient respirator safeguards and chemical burns, among other hazards. Prompt, effective and ongoing corrective action by Scapa North America is necessary,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford.