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A year ago in May, Bob Nardelli’s Freedom Group shuttered Marlin’s New Haven factory and moved production to its Remington plant in Ilion, New York. TTAG heard tell that three Marlin factory workers made the move. In any case, the result was a whole lot less than impressive. If it were opposite day, I’d say the quality of Marlin firearms went through the roof. Suffice it to say our brand new Marlin 1894c broke in half before firing a shot and its twin had its own set of QC “issues.” Subsequently, Marlin shut down production on most of its lineup. Now comes news that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has whacked the Ilion plant with $170k in fines. Specifically . . .

OSHA cited Remington Arms for 35 violations. The Observer-Dispatch of Utica reports that the transgression involve mechanical, electrical and chemical hazards at the firearms manufacturing plant. According to the Agency’s main man, this isn’t a case of federal regulatory nitpicking:

If the violations are left uncorrected, the conditions expose the plant’s workers to electrocution, falls, burns, lacerations, amputations, crushing, struck-by injuries, exposure to hazardous substances and being caught in machinery that is operating or unintentionally energized, said Christopher Adams, OHSA’s area director for Central New York.

“For the safety and health of these workers, this employer must ensure that these hazards are corrected and take effective steps to prevent their recurrence,” Adams said.

Remington has 15 days to sort this out. The clock is ticking on Marlin’s rep as well. Just sayin’ . . .

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  1. This is just aggravating as hell. Two gun manufacturers (or the vestiges thereof), who knew how to make great guns, gradually forgetting how. I couldn’t bring myself to buy one of their guns, new in-box. Their problems seem systemic.

  2. My guess is that they are lacking an up-to-date HAZCOM procedure, LOTO procedure, and ladder protection procedure…

  3. If you think that OSHA doesn’t nitpick, think again. They fine to support their existence. They will fine you for ‘heresay’ of safety specific knowledge. For example: I witnessed a fine from an inspector interrogating a line worker about safety procedures they were not (and weren’t necessary) to be privvy to. The inspector wrote it up as a $30k fine. They bully people into giving answers even if they aren’t qualified to answer the question. It’s BS and every inspection I see is just a ploy at juicing a company for money. What is even more bogus is they will treat a small company like a cash cow rather than mess with the larger ones that can actually afford the fine. There is no parity for the size of your corporation when it comes to fines. I have never witnessed a zero fine inspection. It’s legalized racketeering

    According to the Agency’s main man…

    Laughable. So is this ‘main man’ also going to vouch for the quality of his individual inspectors? I’m not defending Remmington (nor am I claiming this inspection to be inaccurate), but every plant I have been in has accepted levels of risk. You can’t saftey proof everything. You could get ran over by hi-low traffic, if you walk out in front of one. You could stick your arm in a die, if you jumper a safety gate.RF trusting a federal employee for info to sensationalize a OSHA inspection is not congruent with the standards I hold you up to. OSHA fines have been heavy recently. It smells like a directive from the current administration, but I’m most likely biased. This is something I would take with a grain of salt.

    • “There is no parity for the size of your corporation when it comes to fines.”

      Actually, its a sort of inverse parity, if you will. See: Massey Energy.

    • Indeed, there have been some distinct trends noticed in the interactions of OSHA with citizen run businesses. And it corresponds nicely with the change in administration. I apply a great deal of skepticism to any OSHA activities (and everything else government) because it’s proven to be deserved far more often than not.

      And I’m still depressed about the Freedom Group destruction of firearms quality with originally top makers…


    • I have a friend inside a state OSHA, this was their take (read bottom to top):

      Their response:
      Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 2:36 PM
      Subject:re: Marlin gets cited by OSHA

      There was a total of 45 citations (some of which were grouped so only one penalty applied). Also, the company would not get any penalty reduction for size or history.

      Also, Fed OSHA raised their fines.

      Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 2:28 PM
      Subject: Marlin gets cited by OSHA

      (links to article omitted)

      Big fine considering doesn’t sound like anyone died.

    • Yeah, I have been in industry since 1976. OSHA has its whims and a lot of picky citations do occur. It is really hard to be audited, and OSHA not finding a few things to ding you on.

  4. Nardelli (and others of his ilk) may be the problem. If my memory serves, he ran Home Depot’s stock sideways for several years and then took $150 million or so to leave. Then he went to Chrysler and drove it into the ground. No question he takes better care of himself than he does the rank & file. Sort of an economic vampire.

  5. “electrocution, falls, burns, lacerations, amputations, crushing, struck-by injuries, exposure to hazardous substances and being caught in machinery that is operating or unintentionally energized”

    Hell, I deal with almost all of those risks every time I go to work; as risks they can be mitigated, but they cannot be wholly avoided.

  6. Ol’ Zombie Bob – take a perfectly good company, scrape meat off the bones/assets for cost savings, jam some more things together for faux integration to impress the analysts,
    pump up the numbers, get the stock bonus, and move on…
    leaving a pile of guts behind.

    Jeebus, am I in a cheerful mood tonite!

    Freedom Group/Cerebus- isnt there some rumor about Soros involved?
    On a positive note, now THERES a conspiracy theory I can get behind!!!


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