An inspection of Allstate Can Corp., a New Jersey aluminum company, found the company is exposing workers to hazards leading to potential permanent hearing loss.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued the company citations for one willful violation and four serious violations. According to OSHA, the inspection began on March 24 after investigators noted noise hazards during an inspection.
During the investigation, it was learned the company failed to institute a hearing conservation program and also didn’t provide annual hearing tests for employees exposed to excessive noise. Investigators also found that Allstate Can neglected to retrain workers who had suffered hearing loss, didn’t refit them with hearing protection or refer workers for a medical examination. Employees were also exposed to high noise levels in the production area.
"Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Exposure to sustained loud noise kills the inner ear's nerve endings, and leads to permanent hearing loss that neither surgery nor medicine can correct," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Despite knowing the requirement for annual hearing tests, Allstate Can failed to take the proper steps to protect workers from hearing loss, which is unacceptable."
Allstate Can Corp. has 15 business days after receiving the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The proposed OSHA penalties are $104,220.