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August 01, 2017
Dozens of violations yield massive fine for manufacturing plant

OSHA came down hard on a New Jersey aluminum manufacturer with what the agency calls “a long history of noncompliance with OSHA standards.” The Camden County employer was cited for a whopping 51 safety and health violations, with proposed penalties of more than $1.9 million.

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On January 23, 2017, OSHA initiated its most recent inspection of the company, which has been the target of OSHA regulators eight times in the past 7 years. Since 2011, OSHA has cited the employer for 60 violations and assessed $517,000 in penalties.

During the most recent inspection, OSHA determined that two employees were hospitalized as a result of separate incidents. The first occurred when employees entered a tank to drain sludge containing sodium hydroxide, aluminum oxide, and decomposed metal. After reporting to their supervisors that they were experiencing chemical burns, the employees were directed to reenter the tank. There they experienced additional chemical injuries, which sent one worker to the hospital.

The second incident took place when a machine operator suffered a broken pelvis after being caught between the unguarded moving parts of a metal fabrication machine. Among willful citations, OSHA cited the company for failure to:

  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment to personnel.
  • Conduct air monitoring before permit-required confined space entry.
  • Provide confined space training.
  • Use proper lockout/tagout rules.

OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick said that despite its lengthy history, this employer “still does not comply with federal safety and health standards,” leaving workers vulnerable to the risk of injury or possibly death.

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