Region 2 News Release: NY 169
August 7, 2001
Contact: Chester Fultz
OSHA CITES NEW JERSEY COMPANIES FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION OF AMPUTATION
Ronell Managed Services LLC, of Roselle, N.J. and Topps Meat Co. in Elizabeth, have been cited for safety violations, with total proposed penalties of $103,500, following investigation of an amputation at Topps Meat Co., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today.
OSHA initiated its investigation in February, after a Ronell maintenance worker's arm was severed as he was cleaning a mixer-blender. The Labor Department agency charged Ronell Managed Services with one alleged willful and four alleged serious violations of OSHA standards, according to Robert D. Kulick, OSHA's area director in Avenel, N.J.
Ronell was cited for failing to ensure that employees used lockout/tagout devices on machinery, an alleged willful violation carrying a total proposed penalty of $70,000.
Alleged serious violations, with a total proposed penalty of $20,000, were issued for:
- failure to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures.
- failure to properly train employees required to clean machines about how to recognize and isolate energy sources.
- failure to inform the on-site (host) employer about lock/out procedures.
- failure to ensure that disconnects for machines were properly marked.
The host employer, Topps Meat Co. of NJ Inc., received citations for six alleged serious violations, with total proposed penalties of $13,500, for:
- failure to keep obstructions away from emergency exits.
- failure to provide locks for employees responsible for dismantling and cleaning machines.
- failure to conduct an annual review of lockout procedures and train employees in the procedures.
- failure to apply locks on machinery disconnects prior to cleaning.
- failure to properly guard rotating machinery parts.
- failure to label disconnecting boxes and provide a continuous ground path.
Topps Meat was also cited for failure to post and to certify the required OSHA log of injuries and illnesses at the workplace. The two other-than-serious citations carried no monetary penalty.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition 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 Avenel area office, located at 1030 St. George Avenue, Suite 205, Avenel, N. J. Telephone: 732-750-3270.
Ronnell Managed Services LLC, of 298 Cox St., Roselle, and Topps Meat Co. of 1161 E. Broad St., Elizabeth, have until Aug. 22 to contest the citations.
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