US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Burlington, NJ, company for worker exposure to safety and health hazards
Feb. 14, 2011
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US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Burlington, NJ, company
for worker exposure 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. for five workplace health and safety violations at its Burlington facility. Proposed penalties total $77,000.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Oct. 1, 2010, in response to a complaint alleging the hazards. As a result of the inspection, the company received one willful citation with a penalty of $60,500, three serious citations with a penalty of $15,400 and one other-than-serious citation with a penalty of $1100.
"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 in New Jersey. "It is vital that the company abate all of the identified hazards to ensure that employees have a safe and healthy work environment."
The alleged willful citation was due to the company's failure to provide employees 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.
The serious citations include the use of flexible cords as a substitute for fixed wiring, storing materials in deformed and unstable drums, and employees driving 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 cited for one other-than-serious citation for failing to record chemical exposures on OSHA's Form 300, the Log of Work-Related 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. 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; telephone 856-596-5200. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA'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 assure 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.