May 31, 2016
Workers exposed to chemical hazards, other safety and health dangers
at Bethlehem global flavor, fragrance manufacturer
Employer name: Ungerer & Company
Inspection site: 110 North Commerce Way, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Inspection findings: OSHA received a referral on Jan. 27, 2016, from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency alleging Ungerer & Company employees suffered respiratory distress from an unknown chemical odor, prompting an investigation.
The agency found repeat violations when the employer failed to use approved electrical equipment to clean up combustible dust, and did not train employees expected to participate in emergency response operations. Similar violations were previously cited in 2013.
The serious violations included:
- A mobile ladder stand not equipped with safety stops to prevent horizontal movement.
- A dust collection unit handling combustible dust not provided with proper explosion protection or suppression systems.
- No developed emergency response plan.
- Employees overexposed to hydrogen sulfide.
- Feasible administrative and engineering controls not implemented.
- Safety data sheets not maintained and without required safety and health information.
The company also did not conduct periodic re-evaluations of its hazardous energy control program, resulting in the other-than-serious citation.
Quote: "Ungerer & Company should immediately implement safeguards to protect its workers from the dangerous risks associated with exposure to combustible dust and chemical hazards," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "Employers will be held legally accountable for failing to provide a safe and healthful workplace."
Proposed penalties: $63,450
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 Allentown Area Office at 267-429-7542.
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: 16-1058-PHI (osha 16-061)
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