Vortex receives citation

Staff report

new castle, Pa.

A New Castle business has been cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA cited Donald R. Klein, doing business as Vortex Recycling Inc., for one repeat, 25 serious and one other-than-serious violation, the agency announced Thursday.

OSHA inspected the company’s workplace in response to a complaint. Proposed penalties total $58,000.

The repeat violation involves failing to remove defective or unsafe powered industrial trucks from service. The citation carries a $5,600 fine. The company received a similar citation in 2008.

The serious violations include a variety of fall, electrical and struck-by hazards; using equipment that is improperly installed, identified and located; improperly maintaining emergency eyewash stations, shower facilities and portable fire extinguishers; having unguarded machinery; crane deficiencies; a lack of proper housekeeping procedures for areas around plant equipment; and failing to develop programs for energy control, hearing conservation, permit-required confined spaces and hazard communication. Those citations carry $51,700 in penalties.

The other-than-serious violation is having unsanitary eating areas. The citation carries a $700 penalty.

“These violations pose serious risks to Vortex Recycling workers and must be addressed immediately,” said Theresa A. Naim, director of OSHA’s Erie Area Office.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The OSHA investigation began in March, said Dave Spellman, facility manager.

He said the company is reviewing the citations.

“Our intentions are to work with OSHA,” Spellman said. “Some of these issues will be contested.”

The oil-filter recycler employs 20 workers at its site at 61 Riverpark Drive.

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