OSHA fines Phoenixville manufacturer over safety violations

Posted: August 25, 2012

A Phoenixville manufacturer has been cited for 13 serious safety violations - violations that the company should have known could cause death or serious injury to workers.

The charges and $55,000 fine levied against Danco Precision Inc. are part of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's strategy to target its limited resources over the breadth of the nation's workplaces.

"A lot of the violations deal with mechanical power presses and machine guarding for machinery that can cause amputations," said Albert D'Imperio, director of the U.S. Labor Department's OSHA office in Philadelphia.

The company was also cited for one less serious record-keeping violation.

Danco president Nicholas Fagan, contacted by phone and e-mail, had no comment.

Founded in 1949, Danco employs 37 and manufactures precision stamping dies and laminations. Its products are used in the electrical, aerospace, automotive, computer, medical, and electronics industries, according to its website. D'Imperio said the company makes jet engine parts.

He said the stamping and cutting machines used to make dies - the molds for machine parts - can be dangerous. "If a machine can punch or stamp metal, you can imagine what it would do to a hand."

He said Danco had recently hired a safety officer.

"I think the company realized they had some issues," he said. "They were trying to start to do the right thing."

D'Imperio said that the company had not been cited by OSHA in five years and that it had been 10 years since Danco reported an amputation.

He said the Danco injuries tended to be lacerations and cuts - an indication, he said, that employees need safety training.

Danco failed to provide fall-protection barriers as well as hand tools to clear metal scraps, and mechanical presses lacked proper safety guards, according to OSHA.

OSHA, D'Imperio said, generates a random list of companies to be inspected if they report higher-than-average injuries on annual safety surveys and if they are part of an industry group that tends to be more dangerous.

Bakeries, food-processing plants, marine terminals, and other kinds of manufacturing facilities are also included, D'Imperio said.

Contact Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769, jvonbergen@phillynews.com, or follow @JaneVonBergen on Twitter. Read her workplace blog at www.philly.com/jobbing.

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