Jan. 11, 2016 BOS 2016-006
Three Long Island, NY, workers inside recycling machinery
seriously injured when power is unexpectedly turned on
Peconic Recycling & Transfer Corp faces $119K in OSHA fines
Employer name: Peconic Recycling & Transfer Corp., 560 Commerce Rd., Cutchogue, N.Y.
Citations issued: On Dec. 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Peconic Recycling for one willful and 11 serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company's recycling facility in Cutchogue.
Investigation findings: On July 1, three employees cleaning screens inside a cylindrical screening device called a trommel were seriously injured when another employee unexpectedly restarted the machine. OSHA found that Peconic lacked specific written procedures to lock out machines' power sources to prevent their unintended startup. The company also lacked a program to manage employees' work in confined spaces safely and failed to train employees to protect themselves against these hazards.
Peconic also put employees at risk of falls of more than 16 feet through uncovered or unguarded sorting bin openings on a conveyor belt. Additional hazards included lack of proper lock-out tools and procedures; no respiratory protection training; and failing to identify and label confined spaces.
Proposed penalties: $119,000
Quote: "This incident and serious injuries suffered by three employees were preventable. The company knew programs needed to be in place to address and prevent these hazards, yet did not provide required and adequate safeguards," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's area director for Long Island. "For the well-being of its employees, Peconic Recycling & Transfer Co. must take prompt and effective corrective action to ensure that this never happens again."
Link to citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PeconicRecycling_1074890.pdf
Next steps: Peconic has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Long Island Area Office at 516- 334-3344.
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Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-19-NEW
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