May 22, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor¿s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Interstate Waste Services of Sloatsburg, N.Y., for a total of 41 alleged serious violations of safety and health standards at three of its Rockland County, N.Y., facilities. The waste collection and recycling company faces a total of $79,450 in proposed fines.
The citations and fines stem from six OSHA inspections begun in February of this year at facilities located at 200 Sterling Mine Road, Sloatsburg; 25 Airmont Road, Airmont; and 560 Chestnut Ridge Road, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. The inspections were conducted under an OSHA program which targets workplaces in industries with high instances of lost workdays, restricted duty or job transfers due to occupational injuries or illnesses.
"Our inspections identified a cross-section of safety and health hazards at these three locations that expose employees to the hazards of lacerations, amputation, electrocution, burns and injuries from being struck or crushed," said Diana Cortez, director of OSHA¿s Tarrytown Area Office. "This employer must take steps to effectively address the hazards at all three locations to ensure that they are corrected and do not recur."
The bulk of the hazards were identified at the Sloatsburg facility, accounting for 34 of the serious citations and $66,400 of the total proposed fines. Cited conditions included a blocked fire exit and a too narrow exit route; unlit fire exit signs; blocked fire extinguisher access; no exposure control program or training for employees exposed to contaminated needles and sharp objects; no hazard communication program and training; no program, training and equipment to lock out machines¿ power sources before performing maintenance; an uninspected overhead crane; untrained forklift operators; an inoperable eyewash station; numerous instances of unguarded machinery and electrical hazards; and hazards involving welding, tire changing equipment and a defective ladder.
Hazards at the Chestnut Ridge transfer station included a blocked fire extinguisher, water leaking onto and standing near an electrical transformer, an improperly wired electrical circuit and exposed live wiring. These resulted in the issuance of four serious citations with $8,100 in proposed fines.
At the Airmont recycling facility, hazards encompassed unlabeled circuit breakers, failure to remove a defective forklift from service and excess air pressure for a compressed air hose used for cleaning. Three serious citations, carrying $4,950 in proposed fines, were issued for these conditions.
OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Interstate Waste Services has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA¿s area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspections were conducted by OSHA¿s Tarrytown Area Office, telephone (914) 524-7510.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA¿s role is to assure the safety and health of America¿s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.