Dec. 3, 2015
Somerset County flavoring and fragrance manufacturer exposed workers to
respiratory and other workplace safety and health hazards
Employer name: Symrise Inc., a flavoring and fragrance manufacturer, is located at 172 Industrial Parkway in Branchburg, New Jersey.
Investigation findings: OSHA initiated an inspection on June 2, 2015, after being notified of an employee injury. Citations were issued for willful violations related to hazards associated with exposure to diacetyl, a chemical linked to respiratory illnesses including organ damage. Serious violations were cited for hazards related to confined space, including failure to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces were permit-required confined space and failure to develop and implement a written permit-required space program. Other serious violations included the lack of program procedures related to preventing the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout; employee exposure to flammable liquids; and exposure to open-sided work platforms without railings.
Proposed penalties: $122,000
Quote: "When employees are exposed to certain airborne flavorings like diacetyl, they are more likely to develop respiratory symptoms such as cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing with exertion or exercise," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "Symrise is putting its employees at risk of long-term, chronic illness by not taking the right steps to provide protection from this hazard. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure workers have a safe and healthy workplace, and will be held accountable when they fail to do so."
Symrise Inc.'s workers' compensation insurer is MEMIC, located in Portland, Maine.
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 Area Office at 732-750-3270.
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Release Number: 15-2315-NEW (osha 15-113)
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