Region 2 News Release: NY 110
February 3, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
PATERSON, NEW JERSEY LUGGAGE DISTRIBUTOR CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND OTHER SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS: $145,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Naluco Inc., doing business as American Flyer Travelware, of 196 Railway Avenue, Paterson, N.J., alleging three willful, 23 serious, and one other-than-serious violations of health and safety standards. Proposed penalties total $145,000.
The company assembles and distributes luggage to retailers.
According to Lisa Levy, OSHA area director, the citations result from an inspection conducted from July 29, 1999 to January 28, 2000, following a complaint which alleged that exit doors were locked, blocked and inaccessible to employees in the event of an emergency.
OSHA cited the employer for the following willful violations:
- failure to keep exit doors unlocked which were found bolted shut.
- failure to keep paths to various exit doors free from obstacles or obstructions.
- failure to ensure that foot pedals used to activate riveting machines were properly guarded to prevent unintentional start up of the machines.
The alleged willful violations carries a penalty of $122,000.
"We found cases of flagrant disregard for safety regulations at this facility", Levy said. "During the course of our inspection we found exit doors obstructed by boxes of luggage, making them unreachable. We also found various exits bolted shut which would prevent employees being able to escape safely in the event of an emergency. These are the types of violations which put workers' lives in jeopardy."
Among the serious violations for which OSHA cited the company are:
- failure to keep floor aisles in good repair.
- failure to properly guard floor openings.
- failure to keep approaches to exits clear and fully accessible.
- failure to properly store propane gas containers.
- failure to properly train employees in the use of fire extinguishers, and failure to keep extinguishers at their designated locations.
- failure to properly train fork lift truck drivers and inspect fork lifts for defects.
- failure to keep the work space around electrical equipment clear and free from storage.
- failure to properly guard and ground electrical equipment.
- failure to maintain proper sanitary conditions in lavatories.
- failure to properly use flexible cords and cables.
The alleged serious violations carry a proposed penalty of $21,500.
In addition, OSHA cited the employer for failure to maintain the required OSHA log of injuries and illnesses, an alleged other-than-serious violation carrying a total proposed penalty of $1,500.
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 one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could 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 company has until February 18 to contest the citations.
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