KILLBUCK, Ohio—Rubber and plastics components manufacturer Sperry & Rice L.L.C. is facing potential penalties of $400,175 for 44 alleged health and safety violations at its Killbuck plant, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced.
OSHA conducted inspections at the Killbuck facility between February and May 2018 in response to a complaint, the agency said in an Aug. 22 press release. The citations included alleged serious, repeat and other-than-serious violations of OSHA regulations, and included:
- Failing to provide new employees with information on the use and handling of hazardous chemicals;
- Failing to provide adequate machine guards, personal protective equipment, respiratory protection and fall protection;
- Exposing employees to electrical safety and tripping hazards; and
- Failing to instruct employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machines from starting unintentionally.
The company had 15 days from the Aug. 16 issuance of the citations to correct the violations and pay the fines, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, OSHA said.
Sperry & Rice CEO Randy Dobbs, who has headed the company since 2016, said the firm is reviewing the citations and has requested a meeting with the area director. He also noted that the company takes the safety and well-being of its employees very seriously.
“These citations are not representative of our core values or the care and concern with which we operate this business,” Dobbs wrote in an email.
According to its website, Sperry & Rice has been operational since the 1940s, and manufactures extruded rubber, sponge rubber and plastics for the appliance, automotive, HVAC and truck and bus industries.
The company's in-house mixing and compounding operations, lab testing facilities and custom rubber formulations allow it to produce components to the exact specification of customers, according to the website.
Sperry & Rice was acquired by Salt Creek Capital in 2016.