Region 2 News Release: NY 110
January 25, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
BRONX, NEW YORK, RECYCLING COMPANY CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; $94,880 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hunts Point Recycling Corporation, of 342 Casanova Street, Bronx, New York, and proposed penalties of $94,880 against the firm for one alleged willful violation, eleven alleged repeat violations, nine alleged serious violations, and one alleged other-than-serious violation of OSHA standards. The company has until February 15 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Philip Peist, the action results from an investigation conducted from July 25, 2000 through January 18, 2001 following a complaint about a lack of personal protective equipment at the company, which operates a garbage transfer station and recycling center.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's protective equipment standard by failing to ensure that employees use appropriate eye protection. The alleged willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $36,000.
The firm was also cited for eleven alleged repeat violations, carrying a proposed penalty of $42,880, including:
- failure to prevent employees from walking/working on moving conveyor belts;
- failure to develop specific lockout-tagout procedures and appropriate training to prevent the accidental start-up of machines being serviced or maintained;
- failure to have a hearing conservation program and ensure that employees wear hearing protection;
- failure to ensure that employees wear hand protection;
- failure to supply lavatories with soap and towels;
- failure to guard stairways and open-sided floors.
A repeat violation is one for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The company was previously cited for these conditions in April, 1998.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to provide handrails on stairs;
- failure to provide exit signs and maintain unobstructed access to exits;
- failure to conduct noise monitoring;
- failure to ensure that employees driving front-end loaders use seat belts;
- failure to provide a fixed stair for safe access onto work platform;
- failure to maintain a metal ladder in good condition;
- failure to replace an electric cable with exposed bare conductors;
- failure to provide an adjustable tongue guard for an abrasive wheel.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $16,000.
OSHA also cited the firm for failure to re-train workers on lift truck safety when a new model of fork-lift vehicle was put into use, an alleged other-than-serious violation.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Tarrytown area office, located at 660 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, New York, telephone (914) 524-7510.