Recycling Company Cited for Unsafe Trenching

OSHA cited Recycled Paperboard Inc., Clifton, N.J., and proposed\r\npenalties of $163,700 against the firm as a result of an unsafe trench investigation.

OSHA cited Recycled Paperboard Inc., Clifton, N.J., and proposed penalties of $163,700 against the firm, alleging two willful, two repeat, 42 serious and eight other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards.

According to OSHA, the citations result from an inspection of the facility conducted from May 16 through Nov. 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 failure 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 42 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 have a permit required for confined space entry program;
  • failure to properly guard machinery;
  • failure to provide employees with an attendant and safety lines when cleaning machinery;
  • failure to provide employees with proper respiratory protection; and
  • failure to maintain a written hazard communication program.

The company has until Dec. 7 to contest the citations.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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