Region 2 News Release: 13-365-NEW (osha 13-022)
March 18, 2013
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Eagle Recycling in North Bergen, NJ, for
safety violations following worker amputation
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lieze Associates, doing business as Eagle Recycling of New Jersey, with one repeat and three serious safety violations after a worker's fingers were amputated in December 2012 at the company's North Bergen recycling transfer station. OSHA's investigation was initiated in response to a referral by the North Bergen Police Department and has resulted in proposed fines of $70,070.
"This incident should have been prevented by simply locking out the machine's power source," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Eagle Recycling of New Jersey's continued disregard for complying with OSHA safety standards will not be tolerated."
OSHA inspectors found that procedures were not used to lock out the energy source of a conveyor belt system while the worker was clearing a cardboard jam, which resulted in the amputation. OSHA cited the company with a serious violation for failing to implement a lockout/tagout program to control potentially hazardous energy. Another violation includes failing to ensure a ladder placed with the two top rails was supported and placed with secure footing. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The repeat violation was cited for exposing workers to 8-foot fall hazards while working on unguarded platforms. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcements states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2009 and 2010.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Parsippany, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.