The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Foss Manufacturing Co. LLC for 21 serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Hampton plant. The manufacturer of nonwoven textiles faces $115,000 in fines following an inspection in response to a worker's complaint. OSHA's Concord Area Office started the inspection on April 24.

"Employees at this plant were exposed to a cross section of hazards. These included potential electrocution, arc flash, burns, amputation, crushing and laceration injuries, hearing loss, and being caught in unguarded or unexpectedly activated machinery or trapped in toxic or oxygen-deficient confined spaces," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director.

Specifically, the violations cited include failing to protect a worker exposed to an arc flash where electrical equipment had not been deenergized prior to servicing; provide fall protection equipment, face shields and insulated gloves; identify confined workspace hazards and provide workers with adequate entry safeguards; provide guarding on moving machine parts; lockout machinery for servicing; and train workers in safe electrical work practices. In addition, the company failed to provide workers with timely baseline audiograms and training or refitted hearing protection to those who experienced a standard threshold shift in their hearing.

"For the safety and health of its employees, it's imperative that this employer take prompt and effective corrective action to address these dangers and prevent their recurrence—now and in the future," said Ohar.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Foss_Manufacturing_Company_LLC_910681_912950_1018_13.pdf*.

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.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.