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Region 2 News Release: 11-149-NEW (osha 11-013)
Feb. 14, 2011
Contact: Joanna Hawkins       Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5101       215-861-5102
E-mail: hawkins.joanna@dol.gov       uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Safety-Kleen Systems for
exposing workers at its Burlington, NJ, facility to safety and health hazards

BURLINGTON, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. with five workplace health and safety violations at its Burlington facility for exposing workers to dangerous chemicals and other hazards. Proposed penalties total $77,000.

"The lack of employee protections from chemical and other workplace hazards is completely unacceptable," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "It is vital that the company abate all of the identified hazards to ensure that employees have a safe and healthful work environment."

OSHA initiated an inspection on Oct. 1, 2010, in response to a complaint alleging the hazards. One alleged willful citation, with a penalty of $60,500, was issued for failing to provide workers with hand protection when exposed to hazardous chemicals. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Three serious citations, with a penalty of $15,400, were issued for the use of flexible cords as a substitute for fixed wiring, storing materials in deformed and unstable drums, and allowing employees to drive forklifts with an obstructed view. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company also was issued one other-than-serious citation, with a penalty of $1,100, for failing to record chemical exposures on OSHA's Form 300 for workplace injuries and illnesses. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., which is based in Plano, Texas, with facilities throughout the United States and Canada, distributes chemicals and cleaning equipment, and processes hazardous waste.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for 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 Marlton Area Office in New Jersey; telephone 856-596-5200. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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