Region 2 News Release: NY 116
February 26, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY MATTRESS COMPANY CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND OTHER SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $154,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Mattressonic, Inc., of 354 Thomas Street, Newark, New Jersey, and proposed penalties of $154,000 against the firm, alleging two willful, thirty-two serious, and five other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards.
The citations result from an inspection of the facility conducted from August 23, 2000, to February 21, 2001, following a formal employee complaint to OSHA. The firm employs 60 workers.
"This employer allowed its employees to work without proper eye protection knowing that workers were at risk of serious injury from flying projectiles such as industrial staples and wood shards", said David Ippolito, area director of OSHA's Parsippany area office. "The company also had been put on notice by OSHA that it was required to properly guard its machinery and use appropriate signs to make employees aware of the dangers of amputation from working with unguarded equipment."
OSHA cited the company for failure to ensure that employees wore eye protection, and for failure to guard quilting machines, two alleged willful violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $87,500.
Among the alleged serious violations for which OSHA also cited the company are:
- failure to ensure employees wore necessary hearing protection.
- failure to establish a respiratory protection program.
- failure to prevent employee over-exposure to the toxic chemical methylene chloride and failure to provide proper training, respiratory protection and medical surveillance for employees exposed to methylene chloride and other hazardous chemicals.
- failure to establish and implement a lock-out/tag-out program to prevent the unexpected start-up of dangerous machinery.
- failure to properly train employees to safely operate industrial fork lift trucks.
- failure to properly guard the point of operation on a trash compactor.
- failure to provide a shut-off mechanism for a band saw.
- failure to properly guard machinery, including transmission belts, chains, pulleys and prockets.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $$64,500.
The employer was additionally cited for five other-than-serious violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $2,000.
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 which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Parsippany area office, located at 299 Cherry
Hill Road, suite 304, Parsippany, New Jersey, telephone (973) 263-1003.
The company has until March 14 to contest the citations.