US Labor Department's OSHA cites Edison, NJ, lab equipment company
for workplace safety and health hazards; fines total $122,000
EDISON, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited New Brunswick Scientific Co. for 29 safety and health violations at its Edison facility. Proposed penalties total $122,000 following an inspection initiated as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates.
Twenty-eight serious violations involve locked exit doors, obstructed exit routes and unmarked exit routes, an inadequate hazardous energy control program, blocked access to a fire extinguisher, inadequate machine guarding, various electrical and noise hazards, a lack of training on noise hazards, chemical exposure above the recommended limit, use of methylene chloride without determining employees' exposure, asbestos surface contamination, a lack of asbestos training, ineffective engineering controls, not providing proper personal protective equipment and the lack of a hazard communication program. 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.
One other-than-serious violation, with no monetary penalty, was cited for failing to provide required information to employees who voluntarily use a respirator. 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.
"These hazards pose a serious risk to the health and safety of workers at the facility and should be corrected as soon as possible," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "Employers are required by law to provide employees with a safe and healthful work environment."
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/newbrunswickscientific_313986788_100611.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/newbrunswickscientific_313986697_100611.pdf*.
The company, which manufactures lab equipment and employs about 248 workers at the Edison facility, has 15 business days from receipt of all OSHA citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Avenel office.
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 its 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 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 documents.