OHSA Threats

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OSHA threatens fines, cites health and safety problems

By John Howell Sr.

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Art Horizons, Inc. of Batesville plans an appeal and response to an announcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that the company faces a potential $228,320 in fines and penalties for health and safety violations, its president said Monday.

Ed Brucker said the company, formerly known as Framed Picture Enterprise, would work with OSHA during the next 15 working days to correct the problems cited by the regulatory agency.

“It’s good that they’re going to help us with things that need to be done,” Brucker said.

OSHA area director Clyde Payne said that the investigation began in March and was a follow up to a 2008 inspection at Framed Picture Enterprise. It culminated Friday with an inspection at the plant on Highway 6 West and at its location on Pearson Street.

The inspection cited accumulation of combustible dust, failure to protect workers’ hearing, violations with flammable liquids, fall hazards and other threats to employees’ health and safety.

Payne said that while the violations are not unique in manufacturing, a “significant number of violations,” have occurred at the Batesville manufacturer.

“That is unique,” Payne added.

The company has 15 working days to settle with OSHA, comply with the findings or to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Payne said.

“We’re happy to work with OSHA on anything,” Brucker said. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

Payne said that the company employed 209 at the two locations at the beginning of the investigation in March.