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MA Finisher Cited, Fined 3rd Time

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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A Massachusetts metal finishing and hard coating contractor faces more than $49,000 in federal fines for painting-related violations that include hazards dating to 2005.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued five serious and two repeat violations and proposed $49,280 in fines against C.I.L. Inc., of Lawrence, MA, after a December inspection showed uncorrected hazards from 2005 and 2007.

The inspection was conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on workplaces with above-average injury and illness rates.

Michael Venable, C.I.L.’s operations manager, said Wednesday (March 30) in an email that the company planned to meet Thursday (March 31) with OSHA regarding the citations.

“CIL’s safety and management team has already corrected most items that OSHA identified not only as ‘violations’ but as comments or concerns,” Venable wrote. “We have also purchased air monitoring equipment and will be presenting evidence that certain ‘air’ violations actually meet safety standards.”

Repeat Violations

The 2005 case against C.I.L. ended in citations for eight serious violations and a fine of $3,587.50. The 2007 case ended with two serious and one repeat violation, with a total fine of $1,012.50. In both cases, OSHA cut the original fines in half after an informal settlement.

The new repeat violations—also cited in 2005 and 2007—allege that the company uses extension cords in place of permanent wiring to power equipment and provides inadequate air velocity for a paint spray booth. The first condition poses an electrocution or electric shock hazard; the second exposes workers to hazardous fumes and/or a buildup of flammable vapors.

The two citations carry a total of $26,950 in proposed fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation within five years.

Serious Citations

Five serious citations, totaling $22,330 in proposed fines, allege:

  • Inadequate ventilation in an area where flammable materials are stored;
  • Waste cans and other materials stored too close to paint spray booths;
  • Excess air pressure for a cleaning hose;
  • Unlabeled electric circuits; and
  • Using unapproved electrical equipment in an area where flammable paints and solvents are mixed.

A serious violation reflects “substantial probability” of death or serious physical harm from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.


C.I.L. Inc. 

 C.I.L. provides finishing, anodizing and hard coat services.

‘Fire, Electrocution and Electric Shock’

“Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to the hazards of fire, electrocution and electric shock,” said OSHA Area Director Jeffrey Erskine. “It’s imperative that the employer address these issues thoroughly to ensure their correction and prevent them from happening again.”

C.I.L.’s metal finishing services include electroplating, powder coating, and spray painting. The company also provides a variety of hard coat anodizing services for aerospace and other customers throughout New England.


Tagged categories: Health and safety; OSHA; Paint application; Spray booths

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