US Labor Department's OSHA fines Bayonne, NJ, company $125,300
for exposing workers to fall, struck-by and other safety hazards
BAYONNE, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bayonne-based Jay Imports Co. for two willful and eight serious violations for exposing workers to fall, "struck-by" and other safety hazards at the company's warehouse. Proposed penalties total $125,300.
The willful violations, carrying penalties of $98,000, are due to the company's practice of transporting employees throughout the warehouse on the forks of forklifts and raising them to heights of up to 20 feet, while standing, to pick orders. This practice exposed workers to fall and struck-by hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The eight serious violations, with penalties of $27,300, involve failing to provide a written hazard communications program, ensure exit routes and doors were unobstructed, properly post exit signage, provide employees exposed to battery acid with protective gloves as well as an eye wash and eye protection, require employees exposed to hazards that could cause foot injuries to wear appropriate foot protection, provide forklift training, provide refresher training to employees operating forklifts in an unsafe manner, provide hazard communication training, ensure effective closure of unused breaker openings and provide material safety data sheets for sulfuric acid. 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.
"By disregarding OSHA's safety standards, Jay Imports is leaving its employees vulnerable to hazards that can cause serious injury and possible death," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "It is imperative that this company takes steps to provide a safe working environment."
Jay Imports Co. distributes tabletop merchandise and employs 35 workers at its Bayonne warehouse.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JayImports_315438960_1004_11.pdf*.
The company 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 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.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.