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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: NY 225
November 16, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
OSHA CITES CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY PAPER RECYCLING COMPANY FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL, REPEAT, AND OTHER SERIOUS SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $163,700 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Recycled Paperboard Incorporated, of 1 Ackerman Avenue, Clifton, New Jersey, and proposed penalties of $163,700 against the firm, alleging two willful, two repeat, forty-two serious, and eight other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards.
According to Lisa Levy, OSHA area director, the citations result from an inspection of the facility conducted from May 16 through November 7, following a report of an unsafe trench which had been excavated to install water pipes for a fire sprinkler system at the plant.
OSHA cited the company for failure to properly train employees in the use of fire extinguishers, and failure to perform annual hearing examinations on employees exposed to excessive noise, two alleged willful violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $104,500.
OSHA additionally cited the company for failing to provide stairs between platforms where employees were required to work, and for failing to properly store compressed gas cylinders, two alleged repeat violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $7,200. The employer had previously been cited in October, 1997 and July, 1998 for the same alleged serious violations.
Among the forty-two alleged serious violations for which OSHA cited the firm are:
- failure to properly guard chutes, pits, floor openings, open-sided floors, and platforms.
- failure to provide guard rails on stairs.
- failure to have a permit required confined space entry program.
- failure to provide a written lockout/tagout program and annual program audits.
- failure to properly guard machinery.
- failure to provide employees with an attendant and safety lines when cleaning machinery.
- failure to clearly identify and mount electrical circuits and outlets.
- failure to ensure that electrical equipment areas were not used for storage.
- failure to inform employees of the results of noise monitoring.
- failure to provide employees with proper respiratory protection.
- failure to ensure that forklift operators were properly certified.
- failure to provide safe exits and head protection for employees working in an excavation.
- failure to properly label containers of hazardous chemicals.
- failure to maintain a written hazard communication program.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $51,200.
The company was also cited for eight alleged other-than-serious violations, including:
- failure to ensure that exit signs were not obstructed.
- failure to lock a room containing unguarded machinery.
- failure to ensure that fire extinguishers were inspected annually.
- failure to properly record employee injuries and illnesses on the required OSHA log.
The alleged other-than-serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $800.
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 repeat violation is one for which an employer has previously been cited for the same, or for a substantially similar violation, and which has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial probability 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 inspection was conducted by OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights area office, located at 500 Route 17, 2nd Floor, Hasbrouck Heights, N. J. Telephone: (201) 288-1700.
The company has until December 7 to contest the citations.
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