May 31, 2016
Paterson commercial launderer cited for exposing workers
to carbon monoxide danger, other safety and health hazards
OSHA fines Purrfect Enterprises Inc., $51K for nearly two dozen violations
Employer name: Purrfect Enterprises Inc., 262 Clinton St., Paterson, New Jersey
Investigation findings: OSHA opened an inspection on Dec 28, 2015, after the Paterson Fire Department reported the release of carbon monoxide from the chimney at the facility, causing the hospitalization of four employees who lost consciousness. The agency cited the company for the following:
- Overexposure of employees to carbon monoxide.
- Failure to establish a safety program to protect workers from unexpected machine startups.
- Machines without safety guards in place.
- Electrical hazards.
- Obstructed exits.
- Lack of personal protective equipment.
- Lack of an emergency action plan.
- Deficient hazard communication program.
Proposed penalties: $51,100
Quote: "Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and toxic gas which interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. It can overcome a person without warning. While most people are aware of its dangers in a residential setting, it can be equally lethal in the workplace," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "The depth and range of hazards found at this facility reflect a breakdown in the company's safety and health system. It's important for this employer to correct the hazards and remove its workers from harm's way."
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 Hasbrouck Heights Area Office at 201-288-1700.
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Release Number: 16-1072-NEW (16-062 Purrfect Enterprises)
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