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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Furniture plant workers repeatedly exposed to safety and health hazards in Northern New Jersey

OSHA fines 2 employers more than $196K

The investigation was conducted at Sterling Seating Inc.'s furniture manufacturing plant at 9 Porete Avenue in North Arlington, New Jersey. On Target Staffing LLC, a staffing company that provided laborers for Sterling is located at 258 Clifton Avenue in Newark, New Jersey.

On July 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 25 repeat, 15 serious and twoother-than-serious safety and health citations to Sterling Seating. On Target Staffing received one repeat and two serious health citations. OSHA initiated an inspection in January after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions at Sterling's plant. Inspectors observed hazards to temporary workers, resulting in a separate inspection of the staffing company.


Sterling was cited for exposing workers to amputation hazards* while operating machinery by not using procedures to prevent inadvertent machine start-up, known as "lockout/tagout." The company was also cited for not training employees about the effects of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace, including methylene chloride, combustible dust and formaldehyde. The company also received citations for electrical, exit* hazards, and struck-by hazards from boxes stacked unsafely, and for multiple safety violations related to methylene chloride and fire hazards.

On Target Staffing was cited for not having a written hazard communication program or training, or documentation of a hazard assessment.

"Sterling Seating has repeatedly violated basic safety and health standards and exposed its employees to needless hazards," said Lisa Levy, area director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "Host employers and staffing agencies share a responsibility for worker safety. Those that fail to ensure that safety will be held legally responsible."

Sterling Seating: $176,330, and On Target Staffing: $19,800

View the citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SterlingSeating_1017331and1046869.pdf*
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/OnTargetStaffingLLC_1042474.pdf*

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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.