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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CPSC Warns Of 'Creative' Punishments For Sloppy Manufacturers

February 17, 2010 11:03 am | by Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the nation's top safety officials is delivering a stern warning to the makers of toys, cribs and other children's products, telling them to put safety first — or face potential fines, lawsuits or other actions. "If you resist our efforts to recall children's products, be forewarned: This commission stands ready to be creative in the use of our enforcement authorities," Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum said Wednesday.

Baby Bracelets and Pacifier Clips Recalled For Lead

February 17, 2010 10:13 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Utah company is recalling 900 bracelets for babies and pacifier clips because they contain high levels of lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday that a 10-month-old girl received medical treatment for elevated lead levels after being exposed to one of the baby bracelets.

Mueller Appeals $683K OSHA Fine After Blast Kills 1

February 17, 2010 3:48 am

FULTON, Miss. (AP) — Mueller Industries has appealed a $683,000 fine levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for alleged safety violations. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports John Hansen, Mueller's vice president of manufacturing, confirmed the appeal was filed but declined to discuss specifics.

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Mueller Appeals OSHA Fine After Blast Kills 1

February 17, 2010 3:48 am

FULTON, Miss. (AP) — Mueller Industries has appealed a $683,000 fine levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for alleged safety violations. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports John Hansen, Mueller's vice president of manufacturing, confirmed the appeal was filed but declined to discuss specifics.

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Dems Seek Tax Breaks For Rehired Workers

February 17, 2010 3:40 am | by Colleen Slevin, Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) — Democratic lawmakers want to give a tax break to businesses that rehire workers they laid off last year, a move that analysts estimate could speed up the return of some 10,000 people to work. However, no business groups turned out to testify for the proposal during its first hearing at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Officials Investigating Orange Cloud Over Houston-Area

February 17, 2010 3:31 am

PASADENA, Texas (AP) — Plant officials are investigating what caused a chemical release at a Houston-areaplant that forced neighbors to stay indoors for a couple of hours. An orange cloud was seen above Pasadena after Tuesday night's release, prompting emergency personnel to order a shelter-in-place.

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The RV Is Back, Says Earthbound

February 17, 2010 3:19 am

MARION, Ind. (AP) — A startup company plans to open a factory in central Indiana making recreational vehicles and potentially hire 300 workers in the next few years. Officials of Earthbound RV say they'll hire 60 people this year for the Marion factory and expect to start production of its towable trailers in March.

Navistar Nabs $752 Million Military Vehicle Contract

February 17, 2010 3:18 am

WARRENVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Navistar Defense LLC, a unit of Navistar International LLC, said Tuesday that it received a $752 million contract to supply the U.S. military with 1,050 of its International MaxxPro Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. The company said that vehicles under the contract from the U.

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Texas Energy Company Protests $18 Million Mercury Fine

February 17, 2010 3:17 am | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Texas energy company convicted of illegally storing hazardous mercury in a rundown Rhode Island building asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to throw out an $18 million penalty, calling the punishment "grossly excessive." The mercury, stored by the Southern Union gas company in a building in Pawtucket, was exposed to the public in 2004 after vandals broke in and dumped a container of the hazardous liquid at a nearby apartment complex.

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Obama Calls $8.3 Billion Nuclear Grant 'Only The Beginning'

February 16, 2010 10:02 am

bu Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer LANHAM, Md. (AP) — Promising "this is only the beginning," President Barack Obama announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees Tuesday for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the United States in nearly three decades.

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Ford Cuts 900 At Michigan Mustang Plant

February 16, 2010 7:48 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is cutting 900 workers at the Michigan plant that makes the Mustang. Ford said Tuesday that the Flat Rock plant will go from two shifts to one in July. The plant, which is jointly owned with Mazda, also makes the Mazda6. Nearly 2,300 people work there.

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Toyota Idles Two Assembly Plants

February 16, 2010 5:11 am | by Ken Thomas,Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota says it plans to idle production at two assembly plants while it grapples with massive recalls in the United States. Toyota spokesman Mike Goss says a plant in San Antonio, Texas, has scheduled production breaks for the weeks of March 15 and April 12.

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Chrysler Supplier Doubles Up, Ready To Hire 65 Workers

February 16, 2010 4:03 am

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana auto parts plant plans to hire 65 workers in the coming months as it starts a contract with Chrysler. Creative Liquid Coatings Inc. manager Stephen Geist told Kendallville officials that the company is buying robots and other equipment for the new production line.

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Complaints Of Sudden Acceleration Deaths Rise To 34

February 16, 2010 3:47 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Complaints of deaths connected to sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles have surged in recent weeks, with the alleged death toll reaching 34 since 2000, according to new consumer data gathered by the government. Complaints to a database maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the popular Toyota Prius hybrid grew by nearly 1,000 in just over a week.

LG Hausys Expands In Georgia, Adds 80 Jobs

February 16, 2010 3:37 am

ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Gov. Sonny Perdue says surface countertop manufacturer LG Hausys America Inc. will expand its operations in Adairsville, creating up to 80 new jobs. The expansion is planned next to the company's existing facilities in Gordon County in northwest Georgia. The governor's office says the new plant will cover about 95,000 square feet and will require an investment of about $50 million.

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Spanish Turbine-Maker Announces Milwaukee Plant

February 16, 2010 3:36 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Spanish manufacturer of wind-turbine generators will build its first American manufacturing plant in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement involving Ingeteam during his annual State of the City address Monday. The Zamudio, Spain-based company will locate its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Menomonee Valley.

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Temp Workers No Longer Predictor Of Recovery

February 16, 2010 3:33 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not the signal it used to be. When employers hire temporary staff after a recession, it's long been seen as a sign they'll soon hire permanent workers. Not these days. Companies have hired more temps for four straight months. Yet they remain reluctant to make permanent hires because of doubts about the recovery's durability.

Obama Provides $8.3 Billion Loan For Nuclear Plant

February 16, 2010 3:30 am | by Darlene Superville, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will announce a guarantee of $8.3 billion (C6.1 billion) in loans for the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades, underscoring the administration's efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Obama was to make remarks Tuesday after touring a jobs centre in Maryland.

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Brother: Work On Conn. Plant Had 'Substandard' Safety

February 12, 2010 5:40 am | by John Christoffersen, Associated Press Writer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The brother of one of five workers killed in an explosion at a power plant under construction says his brother called the project "screwed up," and a worker on the job the day before the explosion says safety on the job was "substandard." The concerns about pressure to get the job done and safety standards at the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown were raised in interviews with The Associated Press on Wednesday, and add to a growing number of questions about work conditions at the site.

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Strong Growth Predicted For Industrial Wireless

February 12, 2010 5:08 am

Research Triangle Park, NC — The Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance (WINA), expert wireless resource for the industrial market, today announced results of its first End-Users survey on the application of wireless technology in the automation industry at the ARC Forum in Orlando, Florida.

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