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Region 3 News Release: 11-1385-PHI
Sept. 28, 2011
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Ecopax in Easton, Pa.,
for exposing workers to safety and health hazards; fines exceed $57,000

EASTON, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ecopax LLC for 19 safety and health violations following an inspection at the company's Easton warehouse. Proposed penalties total $57,400.

"Ecopax is legally responsible for ensuring a safe and healthful work environment for its employees," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "It is vital that management address the workplace hazards OSHA has cited in order to prevent needless injuries, or worse, from occurring."

Eighteen serious violations with penalties of $55,300 include failing to maintain emergency lighting in the warehouse, provide employees with training on operating procedures, provide employees exposed to noise hazards with proper training and monitoring, provide written operating procedures for the foam extrusion system, provide a complete mechanical integrity program for process equipment, implement a change management procedure for the process safety program, develop and implement a site-specific emergency action plan, provide employees working on elevated surfaces with standard railing protection, ensure that exit routes were not impeded, ensure that the employee alarm system was functional, ensure that fire extinguishers were readily available and employees were trained in their use, ensure that live electrical parts were guarded against contact, ensure that flexible cords were used appropriately, provide strain relief on flexible cords, properly store material in a stable and secure manner, effectively close unused openings in electrical boxes and properly cover each electrical outlet box.

Additionally, one other-than-serious violation with a $2,100 penalty was cited for failing to properly record injuries and illnesses in the OSHA record-keeping log.

A serious violation occurs 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. 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.

Ecopax LLC manufactures single-use take out containers made of polystyrene foam and employs 49 workers at its Easton facility.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Allentown, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Allentown office; telephone: 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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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.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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