Maine firm faces fines for dangerous robots, violations

AP News
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Posted: Feb 11, 2015 6:23 PM

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — A Maine fabric manufacturing company faces more than $100,000 in federal fines for safety violations including the use of robots that could harm workers.

Maine Public Broadcasting Network (http://bit.ly/19at2WC ) reports the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is citing Formed Fiber Technologies Inc. in part because of dangerous robots used to trim carpeting. OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald says the robots had arms that could extend "beyond a safe perimeter" and strike a worker.

Another violation is that equipment used in the production process wasn't properly shut down and locked to stop it from starting during cleaning.

Fitzgerald says the agency doesn't know of any injuries at the plant in Auburn.

Formed Fiber president Chris Richard says the company is reviewing the citations and "places the highest priority on workplace safety."