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Region 3 News Release: 13-2441-NEW (osha 13-121)
Dec. 30, 2013
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Labor Departments OSHA cites The Furniture Exchange for repeat,
serious violations at New Brunswick, NJ, warehouse

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Complete Liquidations, doing business as The Furniture Exchange, with four repeat and 13 serious violations at the companys warehouse in New Brunswick. OSHAs July investigation began in response to a complaint, and resulted in proposed penalties totaling $71,280.

The repeat violations, with a $41,580 penalty, include: failure to provide adequate work space near electrical equipment, maintain exit routes free of obstructions, keep spray booths free from storage, and label hazardous chemicals. The company was cited for the same violations in June 2012. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The serious violations, carrying $29,700 in penalties, include failure to:

  • Address hazards related to emergency exit routes and signs.
  • Maintain an emergency action plan, the use and maintenance of fire extinguishers, and housekeeping.
  • Complete a workplace hazard assessment.
  • Provide personal protective equipment and an eye wash station.
  • Train workers on the hazards of their workplace chemicals.
  • Provide training and conduct medical evaluations for employees required to use respirators.

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.

These safety and health hazards continue to pose serious risks to employees and should be immediately addressed to prevent worker injuries, said Patricia Jones, director of OSHAs Avenel Area Office. Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so.

The company has 15 days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHAs area director in Avenel, or contest the finding before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHAs toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agencys Avenel office at 732-750-3270.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHAs role is to ensure these conditions for Americas 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 303-693-7838 or TTY 303-693-7755.


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