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OSHA News Release
Region 2

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U.S. Department of Labor | August 1, 2016 - Revised on Aug. 1, 2016


OSHA cites prop, furniture manufacturer for exposing workers
to chemical; other safety, health hazards at Rahway warehouse
'Prop N Spoon' facing $47K penalty for 20 workplace hazards

Employer name: The Spoon Group, doing business as "Prop N Spoon"

Inspection site: 970 New Brunswick Ave., Bldg. 1, Rahway, New Jersey

Citations issued: On July 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for 19 serious and one other-than-serious health and safety violations.

Inspection findings: OSHA initiated a health inspection on Feb. 25, 2016, after a complaint alleged the employer was exposing workers to chemical hazards and not providing them with a respiratory protection program. A safety inspection followed on May 5, 2016, after an OSHA compliance officer observed and reported combustible dust hazards and a lack of safety guards on machines. The inspection was conducted as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program for Combustible Dust.

The serious violations are associated with:

  • Obstructed exit routes.
  • Failure to develop hazard communication and respiratory protection programs, including medical evaluations for employees required to use respirators.
  • Not training employees who handle chemicals as required and failure to provide safety data sheets for chemicals.
  • Unguarded machinery.
  • Spray booth operations
  • Combustible dust related to electrical and explosion hazards

The company also failed to post its annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses, resulting in the other-than-serious citation.

Quote: "If not addressed immediately, the hazards cited at Prop N Spoon's warehouse will continue to pose serious safety and health dangers to employees. This is especially true for workers handling chemicals and working in areas with combustible dust," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "This employer and all employers should take steps to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control potential safety and health hazards in their workplace."

Proposed penalties: $47,600

The citations can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

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 Avenel Office at 732-750-3270.

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

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Ed. Note: This version of the news brief includes a revised sub-headline to correct the proposed penalty amount, and a corrected monetary amount of $47,600 in the proposed penalties section.

Media Contact:

Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101,
Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102,

Release Number: 16-1531-NEW (osha 16-095)

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