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Region 2 News Release
09-1496-PHI (09-256)
Dec. 8, 2009
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102

US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Newark, NJ, company more than $212,000 for workplace safety and health hazards

NEWARK, N.J. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Solid Waste Transfer & Recycling Inc. for alleged safety and health violations. Proposed penalties total $212,400.

OSHA initiated an inspection on June 3 as part of its proactive program targeting companies in industries with high injury and illness rates. As a result, the company has been issued citations for four willful violations with a penalty of $198,000 and six serious violations with a penalty of $14,400.

The willful violations address the company's failure to have an adequate lockout procedure and a lack of machine guards. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health.

The serious violations include blocked exits, inadequate energy control procedures, lack of training, failure to properly mark compressed gas cylinders and effectively close electrical box openings. A serious citation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

"Lockout procedures are designed to safeguard workers from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities," said Phil Peist, area director of OSHA's office in Parsippany, N.J. "It is imperative that the company correct the identified hazards to protect the safety and health of its workers."

"One means of helping ensure worker safety is for employers is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which they and their employees work together to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazards before they result in injury or illness," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

The Newark company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This investigation was conducted by OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office; telephone: 215-597-4955.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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