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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Paterson NJ commercial launderer cited for exposing workers to carbon monoxide dange

Paterson commercial launderer cited for exposing workers to carbon monoxide danger, other safety and health hazards. OSHA fines Purrfect Enterprises Inc., $51K for nearly two dozen violations

Employer name: Purrfect Enterprises Inc., 262 Clinton St., Paterson, New Jersey

Citations issued: On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for 22 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.

Investigation findings: OSHA opened an inspection on Dec 28, 2015, after the Paterson Fire Department reported the release of carbon monoxide from the chimney at the facility, causing the hospitalization of four employees who lost consciousness. The agency cited the company for the following:
Overexposure of employees to carbon monoxide.
Failure to establish a safety program to protect workers from unexpected machine startups.
Machines without safety guards in place.
Electrical hazards.
Obstructed exits.
Lack of personal protective equipment.
Lack of an emergency action plan.
Deficient hazard communication program.

Proposed penalties: $51,100

"Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and toxic gas which interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. It can overcome a person without warning. While most people are aware of its dangers in a residential setting, it can be equally lethal in the workplace," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "The depth and range of hazards found at this facility reflect a breakdown in the company's safety and health system. It's important for this employer to correct the hazards and remove its workers from harm's way."

View the citations:

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  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.