August 17, 2016
National Manufacturing Co. exposes workers to chemical hazards,
workplace safety dangers at North Jersey facility
Flash fires at company lead to inspections, $56K in fines for 10 OSHA violations
Employer name: National Manufacturing Co. Inc.
Inspection site: 12 River Road, Chatham, New Jersey
Investigation findings: Borough of Chatham officials alerted OSHA after a flash fire burned an employee as the worker cleaned a degreasing tank at National Manufacturing on Jan. 29, 2016. The agency initiated a safety inspection on Feb. 1, 2016. The agency then opened a health inspection on Feb. 18, 2016, to evaluate chemical related health hazards after the safety inspection revealed the company's use of N-Propyl Bromide, also known as 1-Bromopropane, a chemical used to degrease metals, plastics and electronic and optical components.
Inspectors identified multiple workplace safety violations. They found the company:
- Exposed employees to hazards related to N-Propyl Bromide.
- Failed to provide fall protection for workers exposed to falls up to 7 feet.
- Allowed electrical and housekeeping hazards.
- Failed to medically evaluate and fit test employees using respirators.
Quote: "National Manufacturing Co. put workers in harm's way by not properly controlling chemical hazards at its facility in Chatham. We found the company's lack of effective hazard management relating to its degreasing system directly resulted in flash fires on Jan. 29 and Feb. 9, 2016, just 11 days apart," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "This company must do what's right to protect its workers and provide a safe and healthy workplace."
Proposed penalties: $56,300
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 Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.
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.
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Release Number: 16-1682-NEW (osha 16-106)
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