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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: NY 130
April 17, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
KEARNY, NEW JERSEY FILM COMPANY CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED
SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING
SERIOUS EMPLOYEE INJURY; $197,250 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
NEW YORK -- The U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited The Amerifilm Corporation of 85 Lincoln Highway, Kearny, N.J., on April 10, and proposed penalties of $197,250 against the firm, alleging five willful, 14 serious, and six other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards.
The citations result from an inspection conducted from Oct.17, 2000, to April 10, 2001, following notification from the Kearny Police Department that an accident had occurred at the facility. On October 11, an employee sustained a serious injury when his hand was caught and crushed in the gears of an unguarded printing press, according to David Ippolito, OSHA area director in Parsippany.
OSHA cited the company for the following alleged willful violations:
- failure to properly guard the nip points of machinery.
- failure to provide appropriate foot protection for employees.
- failure to provide authorized personnel with individual de-energizing machinery locks.
- failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures when performing machine maintenance.
- failure to provide fire extinguisher training to employees.
The alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $174,000.
"This employer made no attempt to install machine guarding on his equipment, even after the serious injury to one of his employees,"Ippolito said. "The willful disregard shown by this employer with respect to employee safety meant that another machine operator, who was not even briefed about the previous accident, could be exposed to the same hazard."
Among the alleged serious violations for which OSHA cited the company are:
- failure to establish specific lockout/tagout procedures.
- failure to properly guard the points of operation of machinery, including grinders, belts and pulleys and failure to eliminate electrical hazards.
- failure to keep exits unobstructed.
- failure to provide a hearing conservation program for employees.
- failure to properly store flammable liquids.
- failure to enforce the wearing and use of personal protective equipment.
- failure to establish a blood borne pathogen training program.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $21,250.
In addition, OSHA cited the firm for alleged other-than-serious violations, including:
- failure to provide respiratory training for employees.
- failure to properly monitor employee exposure to formaldehyde.
- failure to maintain material safety data sheets for each chemical used in the plant.
The alleged other-than-serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $2,000.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Parsippany area office, located at 299 Cherry Hill Road, Suite 304, Parsippany, N. J. Telephone: (973) 263-1003.
The company has until May 1 to contest the citations.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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