Region 2 News Release: NY 216
Wednesday, November 18, 1998
Contact: Chester J. Fultz, 212-337-2319
WYANDANCH, NEW YORK, BEER DISTRIBUTOR CITED BY OSHA
FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; $112,500 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Manhattan Beer Distributors LLC, of 2 Washington Avenue, Wyandanch, New York, and proposed penalties of $112,500 against the firm for four alleged repeat violations, one alleged willful violation, and four alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until December 9 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Anthony J. DeSiervi, the action results from an investigation begun on May 19 following an employee complaint of unsafe working conditions.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires every employer to furnish a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards, by allowing employees to be exposed to falls from elevations. "Our investigation disclosed that employees routinely were elevated using a forklift truck--either standing on a pallet being lifted on the tines, or directly on the tines. In cases such as this OSHA will take aggressive action to make it clear that intentional disregard for employee safety is unacceptable," DeSiervi said.
The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $55,000.
OSHA also cited the employer for four alleged repeat violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $45,000 for failure to have permanent aisles or passageways appropriately marked, failure to have a written hazard communication program, failure to have a place of employment that was clean and orderly, and failure to provide training to forklift operators. 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 employer was previously cited for these conditions in October 1997, at its location in the Bronx.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
failing to provide training in the use of personal protective equipment for employees changing propane cylinders;
failing to provide personal protective equipment, goggles and gloves for employees;
failing to conduct a hazard assessment for employees working with propane cylinders;
failing to label pipes and other locations which included asbestos-containing material;
failing to provide hazard communication training.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $12,500.
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.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Long Island area office, located at 990 Westbury Road, Westbury, New York, telephone (516) 334-3344.
This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (212) 337-2319; TDD phone: 800-347-8029; OASAM TDD message referral phone number: 800-326-2577.