US Department of Labor's OSHA fines North Bergen, NJ laundry company
$219,000 for safety hazards
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Prestige Industries LLC, doing business as Prestige, with four repeat and five serious safety violations found at its commercial laundry facility in North Bergen. OSHA's October 2012 investigation was initiated in response to a complaint and resulted in $219,000 in proposed penalties.
The repeat violations, carrying an $185,500 penalty, include the company's failure to protect workers from unguarded machinery, establish a lockout/tagout program and procedures for controlling energy sources, and provide energy control training for workers who perform maintenance on machines. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcements states within the last five years. The same violations were cited in 2012 following a worker's death after being caught in an unguarded machine at its Bayshore, N.Y., facility.
The serious violations, with a $33,500 penalty, were due to electrical hazards; an inadequate confined space program and failure to identify permit required confined spaces; and no hazard communication program, training and material safety data sheets. A serious citation is issued 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 safety hazards present at this facility pose serious risks to workers and must be immediately corrected," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "OSHA will continue to hold employers legally accountable when they fail to provide safe workplaces."
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Prestige_IndustiresLLC_dba_Prestige_682958_0412_13.pdf*.
Prestige Industries LLC, based in Jersey City, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA 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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.