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Simtek facing $139K in fines from OSHA

by John Callegari
Published: July 5, 2012
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One year after hitting Amityville-based Simtek with 20 workplace safety violations totaling more than $60,000 in fines, the U.S. Department of Labor said the Amityville metal fabrication shop failed to correct several unsafe conditions and now faces nearly $139,000 in new penalties as a result.

In June 2011, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation of Simtek, prompted by an incident that occurred at Simtek in which an employee lost five fingers when his hand became caught in an operating roller machine. The owner of Simtek said at the time the accident was the first the 40-plus-year-old company had ever experienced.

OSHA uncovered 20 workplace safety violations at the time, proposing $60,600 in penalties for Simtek.

The agency conducted a follow-up inspection in January and found that 12 of the violations were not remedied, including a locked exit door, unprotected power cords, uncovered electrical cabinets and cords and the failure to implement measures to prevent machines from starting during maintenance. In total, the new proposed fines amount to $138,765.

“This employer was required to correct all hazards cited during our last inspection and had ample opportunity to do so, yet almost half of the violations were never corrected while others were allowed to recur,” said Anthony Ciuffo, director of OSHA’s Westbury-based Long Island-area office. “The sizable fines proposed here reflect both the severity of these hazards – which expose workers to potential amputation and crushing injuries, and electrocution – as well as this employer’s unacceptable failure to effectively correct them.”

Due to the failure-to-abate and repeat violations as well as the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed Simtek in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

Calls to Simtek went unanswered Thursday.

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