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OSHA CITES HIGH POINT, N.C., FIRM; PROPOSES $79,875 PENALTY

 OSHA CITES HIGH POINT, N.C., FIRM; PROPOSES $79,875 PENALTY
 ATLANTA, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited Highland Yarn Mills, High Point, N.C., and proposed penalties totaling $79,875 for alleged safety and health violations.
 According to Suzanne Street, OSHA's Raleigh area director, the citations resulted from health and safety inspections begun March 16 in response to a complaint alleging that Highland Yarn failed to provide adequate protection and medical surveillance for workers exposed to cotton dust.
 Following its inspection, OSHA proposed penalties totaling $31,500 for one alleged willful violation of health standards requiring the company to reduce cotton dust levels in the plant.
 Additional penalties totaling $41,625 were proposed for 10 alleged serious health violations, most of which involved provisions of the cotton dust standard. These included absence of adequate cotton dust monitoring; failure to properly conduct periodic pulmonary testing of employees; lack of a written compliance plan, and failure to have required respirator and worker training programs.
 A separate safety inspection conducted by OSHA revealed three alleged serious violations for which a total of $6,750 in penalties was proposed.
 "OSHA and employers have known for years that prolonged employee exposure to excessive levels of cotton dust can lead to byssinosis or other debilitating lung disorders. We want employers to take every available action to minimize such exposure," said Street.
 OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
 A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
 Highland Yarn Mills, Inc. has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
 Inspections of the firm were conducted by OSHA's Raleigh area office located at Century Station, 300 Fayetteville Mall, Room 438, Raleigh, N.C. 27601; telephone 919-856-4770.
 -0- 9/10/92
 /CONTACT: Suzanne Street, OSHA's Raleigh area director, 919-856-4770/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health
 Administration; Highland Yarn Mills, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: SU: EXE


BN-BR -- AT015 -- 8155 09/10/92 15:38 EDT
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Date:Sep 10, 1992
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