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Most safety violations corrected, official says

February 5, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Highways and Facilities Department was cited for 14 state Public Employee Safety and Health Program violations last fall, but 11 have since been corrected, department Superintendent Mark Yost said Monday.

He gave a report on the violations, which included a lack of eye wash stations and stored materials blocking an electrical panel, to the Board of Supervisors' Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee.

Yost said the Public Employee Safety and Health Program, or PESH, conducted a "surprise" inspection of the county highway garage on Route 29 on Nov. 3. He said PESH officially notified the county of results Jan. 23.

"They cited some violations," the highway official said.

PESH was created in 1980 to extend federal occupational safety and health protection to public employees at the state and local levels in New York state. It enforces standards of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Yost said 11 of the violations have already been fixed. For example, the highway department was cited for not labeling its wash bay and equipment storage doors, so signs were installed. The department also was cited for a lack of eye wash stations in janitor closets. Correcting that involved removing chlorine.

The highway department earned a violation lacking a chuck guard for a lathe, not having a puller guard on a belt sander, and lacking a written Hazard Communication program. Yost said those problems were corrected.

Yost said his department was cited for a power strip being plugged into another power strip, having stored materials blocking an electrical panel, lacking grounding for a refrigerator in the lunch room, having uncovered openings in electrical panels and having a damaged cord on a table saw. Those issues were fixed.

Three violations remain unresolved, Yost said. They are: lack of an Energy Control Program, lack of training for such a program, and a lack of certified fork lift training. Yost said the Energy Control Program and training is expected to be completed by Feb. 24, while the county also will be looking to hire a fork lift consultant by Feb. 24.



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