US Labor Department's OSHA cites MedPlast for workplace
safety and health hazards at West Berlin, NJ, facility
WEST BERLIN, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited MedPlast Inc. for exposing workers to safety and health hazards at its West Berlin facility. OSHA initiated an inspection on March 17 as part of its Site-Specific Targeting Program for employers with higher-than-average injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $72,000.
"By disregarding OSHA's standards, MedPlast exposed its workers to serious injuries and possible death," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of the agency's Marlton Area Office. "It is vital that the company address all of the identified hazards to ensure that employees have a safe and healthful work environment."
Seventeen serious violations carrying $70,000 in fines include the company's failure to ensure exits were unblocked; provide eye protection approved by the American National Standards Institute; provide written energy source lockout/tagout procedures; train employees on fire extinguishers; provide proper forklift training and ensure the training was certified; conduct inspections on powered industrial equipment; visibly mark a crane's rated load, and conduct monthly inspections on hoist chains and hooks; provide machine guarding; ensure grinder workrest and tongue guards were properly adjusted close to the wheels; ensure compressed air was reduced to 30 pounds per square inch; store oxygen and acetylene fuel gas cylinders separately; provide proper light fixture guarding; conduct noise monitoring; provide audiometric testing for employees overexposed to noise; and provide noise training. 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.
Nine other-than-serious violations carrying $2,000 in fines relate to the company's deficiencies with OSHA Form 300, the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; failure to provide access to an electrical panel; and properly mark plastic spray containers containing liquids with their contents. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Tempe, Ariz.-based MedPlast Inc. designs and manufactures parts for telecommunications and medical products. The company employs 160 workers at its West Berlin facility.
MedPlast Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Marlton office; telephone 856-596-5200. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.