A manufacturing facility here has been cited for 11 safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Ball Aerosol and Specialty Containers Inc., on Myron Street, was cited for exposing workers to machine- guarding hazards with fines totaling $589,000.
According to a release from OSHA, the administration initiated an inspection of the facility Oct. 17, 2012, after receiving a complaint that alleged Ball Aerosol exposed machine operators to unguarded hazardous machinery, even though the employer had been cited by OSHA for lack of machine guarding on the same equipment in 2009. OSHA’s inspection found that the company knowingly permitted workers to operate the machines without proper guarding. The inspection revealed that the guarding was not installed or was removed because it slowed material positioning and production output, the release said.
“Ball Aerosol’s management made a decision to continue to expose machine operators to serious amputation hazards,” said Nick Walters, OSHA’s regional administrator in Chicago. “Workers should not be asked to take such risks, and OSHA will not tolerate such disregard for worker safety.”
The corporation, based in Broomfield, Colo., produces small metal containers for use by a variety of food, beverage and chemical industries. It employs about 12,000 workers, operates 31 production plants in the U.S. and has facilities in Asia, Europe, South America and Canada. The Hubbard facility employs 57 workers and specializes in the production of three-piece welded paint and general-lines cans, the release said.
Ball Aerosol said in a press release that it disagreed with the OSHA findings.
“We intend to resolve our disagreements through the regulatory process and cannot comment further,” said Renee Robinson, a corporate communications manager with Ball Aerosol. “We will take whatever measures that are appropriate at the end of this review to ensure that we are continuing to maintain a safe environment for our employees.”