Earth Friendly not so Worker Friendly: OSHA Proposes $124,000 in Fines

Earth Friendly not so Worker Friendly: OSHA Proposes $124,000 in Fines

OSHA cited Earth Friendly Products for 23 serious safety and health violations at its Norwood facility. OSHA initiated an inspection in response to a complaint and found workers being exposed to machine guarding, confined space and flammable liquid storage and handling hazards, among other violations. Proposed penalties total $124,000.

OSHA cited Earth Friendly Products for 23 serious safety and health violations at its Norwood facility. OSHA initiated an inspection in response to a complaint and found workers being exposed to machine guarding, confined space and flammable liquid storage and handling hazards, among other violations. Proposed penalties total $124,000.

"The large number and extensive range of safety and health hazards found at this establishment are of great concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration," said Lisa Levy, OSHA's area director in Hasbrouck Heights. "This employer needs to address the hazards to prevent injuries from occurring at its facility."

The violations reflect hazards related to confined space entry, deficient lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machinery from accidentally starting up, failing to train powered industrial trucks operators and make sure that truck modifications are performed with the manufacturer's prior written approval, insufficient machine guarding equipment, junction boxes connected with flexible cords instead of being mounted on the wall, unlabeled breakers on the panel, unsafe flammable liquid storage and handling, personal protective equipment and respirator deficiencies, a lack of eye wash stations, and a lack of fire extinguisher training and hazard communications. A serious violation occurs 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.

"A first step toward a safer, more healthful workplace is to develop and implement an injury and illness prevention program in which management and workers proactively identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

The company manufactures cleaning products and employs 38 workers. Earth Friendly Products has 15 business days from receipt of the OSHA citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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