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Artbeats Inc. is facing $56,430 in fines for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Cheshire, CT, manufacturing plant where they make reproductions of prints and paintings, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In response to a worker complaint, inspectors found several hazards similar to those cited in June 2010 at the company’s Waterbury, CT, facility.

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Those hazards include failing to provide a program to ensure workers have training to power down and lockout industrial saws prior to conducting maintenance; provide a chemical hazard communication program and training on the risks and safeguards associated with chemicals, such as paints and gels; and prevent usage of unapproved electrical equipment in areas that generate and accumulate combustible wood dust.

“Left uncorrected or allowed to recur, these conditions expose employees to hazardous chemicals, fire, and lacerations and amputation by activated machinery,” said Robert Kowalski, OSHA’s area director in Bridgeport. “An employer must ensure hazards are consistently and effectively addressed to provide employees a safe and healthful work environment.”

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The conditions resulted in the issuance of eight repeat citations, with $53,460 in proposed fines. Additionally, one serious citation, with a fine of $2,970, was for an inadequately guarded radial arm saw.

A repeat violation exists when an employer faced previous citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any of its facilities in federal enforcement states within the last five years. 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.

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