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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: 10-668-NEW (osha 10-68)
May 17, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Jersey City, NJ, manufacturer
for exposing employees to workplace safety and health hazards
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Importers Service Corp. in Jersey City for failing to lock out energy sources and exposing workers during the maintenance and repair of equipment to potential injuries. Proposed penalties total $158,500.
OSHA initiated its inspection on Nov. 10, 2009, as part of its Site-Specific Targeting Program designed for industries with high injury and illness rates. As a result of the inspection, the company has received citations for two willful violations, with a penalty of $98,000; 33 serious violations, with a penalty of $60,500; and one other-than-serious violation, which carries no penalty.
"Each of these violations leaves workers vulnerable to hazards that can result in serious injury and illness," said Phil Peist, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "The company has a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthful environment for workers."
The willful violations address the company's deficient lockout/tagout system, which is used to control the release of hazardous energy. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The serious violations include a lack of training, electrical hazards, inadequate personal protective equipment, failing to implement an adequate hazard communication and respiratory protection program, and failing to properly handle confined spaces. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
"By establishing an effective comprehensive workplace safety and health program that engages employees to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazards, employers are better positioned to prevent workplace hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Importers Service Corp., with five previous OSHA inspections, manufactures items used by the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and technical industries, and has 36 employees.
The 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. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Parsippany Office; telephone: 973-263-1003. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-5742.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and health workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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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