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Company fined more than $70K after OSHA inspection

December 20, 2012
Updated 7:09 p.m.
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— An Amsterdam firm is facing more than $70,000 in fines following inspections by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA cited NTI Global for 19 alleged workplace safety and health standards violations after inspections prompted by a complaint this summer, the agency said in a news release.

“These citations encompass a cross-section of fall, fire, machine guarding, electrical, lead, exit access and combustible dust hazards, as well as overexposure to noise,” OSHA Albany-area Director Kimberly Castillon said in the release.

The agency alleges the Willow Street facility is exposing workers to combustible dust, airborne lead and 4-foot-tall working platforms that lack railings and toe boards.

“These conditions must be addressed promptly and effectively for the safety and health of the plant’s workers,” Castillon said.

Company officials did not return a call Thursday.

NTI Global, formerly known as Nationwide Tarp Inc., employed about 100 people in July 2011 when company officials gathered at the massive facility to announce plans to hire 20 more following renovations. The company at the time was using 250,000 square-feet of a six-story building that once housed 2,000 employees, and expansion plans were focused on opening up another 250,000 square-feet.

NTI Global was created in 1983 and had facilities in Schenectady, Utah and Kentucky until 2002, when all operations were consolidated into the Amsterdam building.

OHSA inspectors allege that:

• Workers were found to be overexposed to noise

• Exit signs were not lighted

• Machinery didn’t have guarding features to keep employees away from moving parts

• Fire doors were kept open

• Flexible cords were passed through walls improperly

The company was issued fines totaling $74,700 and given 15 days to either correct all the issues, ask for a conference with OSHA officials or contest the violations, according to OSHA.

OSHA, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which made employers responsible for providing a safe environment for workers. People who believe working conditions pose imminent danger to workers can call OSHA’s hotline at 800-321-6742.

 
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