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Region 1 BOS 2003-034
Feb. 25, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074


Employee Fall Leads to Over $70,000 in OSHA Fines
for Nashua, N.H., Industrial Laundry

CONCORD, N.H. -- A Nashua, N.H. industrial laundry's failure to protect workers against fall hazards has prompted $70,200 in proposed fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Unifirst, Corp, located at 8 Industrial Park Drive in Nashua, was cited for alleged willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an OSHA inspection initiated when an employee suffered serious injuries after falling 10 feet from an unguarded mezzanine on Sept. 3 of last year.

"There was a clear need for guardrails that would have prevented this accident from occurring, yet they were not installed," said David May, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "It's imperative that employers identify and effectively address such hazards before workers are injured or killed."

As a result, OSHA has cited Unifirst for an alleged willful violation, the most severe category of OSHA citation, and proposed a fine of $63,000 for failing to guard the mezzanine against fall hazards. The size of the fine reflects the citation's classification as willful. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

OSHA's inspection also identified a tripping hazard from a protruding toeboard on the mezzanine, uncovered or unguarded waste water treatment tanks, an unguarded press and pit, and no 'no exit' sign in the mezzanine area. These alleged violations have been classified as serious and fines of $7,200 are proposed for them.

OSHA defines a serious violation as one that could cause death or serious physical harm from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Unifirst Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, and/or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA's Concord Area Office conducted the inspection. Its telephone number is (603) 225-1629.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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