June 2, 2015
Temporary workers exposed to noise, safety hazards in Morris County
OSHA proposes nearly $172K in penalties for 3 New Jersey employers
Employers' Names and Locations: The production warehouse of soft drink manufacturer Whitlock Packaging Corp. is located at 92 N. Main St. in Wharton, New Jersey.
Customized Distribution Services Inc., a general warehousing and storage contractor hired by Whitlock to run the warehouse's day-to-day operations, is located at 20 Harry Shupe Blvd. in Wharton.
Staffing agency Drake Nelson LLC, doing business as Action Group Staffing, is located at 81 Bassett Highway, Suite 8, in Dover, New Jersey, and is headquartered in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The company provided forklift operators and production line employees for the warehouse.
Date Investigation Initiated: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated a safety inspection on Dec. 1, 2014, in response to a formal complaint against Customized Distribution Services Inc. During the inspection, high noise levels were observed, prompting an additional health inspection initiated on Dec. 22, 2014.
Investigation Findings: Whitlock Packaging failed to obtain a valid baseline audiogram as required by law, resulting in one willful violation. The manufacturer was also received one repeat, six serious, and one other-than-serious citations involving exit routes, struck-by, machine guarding and fall hazards, and a recordkeeping violation. OSHA found one repeat and one serious violation against Customized Distribution Services for exit route hazards. Action Group Staffing received one serious citation related to noise hazards.
The three companies have 15 business days from receipt of citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Quote: "Violations like these can cause serious injuries, including permanent hearing loss," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Protecting employee safety and health is a responsibility the employer and the staffing agency share. All three companies should eliminate these hazards immediately"
Proposed penalties: Whitlock Packaging: $140,500; Customized Distribution Services: $26,400; and Action Group Staffing: $5,000.
View the citations:
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Release Number: 15-1104-NEW (osha 15-041)
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