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Friday, January 13, 2012

OSHA cites Newton, NJ, manufacturer for workplace safety and health violations- proposes nearly $49,000 in fines

The seal of the United States Department of LaborImage via Wikipedia

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited retaining ring manufacturer Schneider & Marquard Inc. for 21 workplace safety and health violations. OSHA initiated an inspection in response to a complaint alleging several workplace hazards at the company's Newton facility. Proposed fines total $48,840.

Three repeat safety violations with $23,760 in penalties involve obstructed exit routes, lack of proper machine guarding and deficient record keeping for power press inspections. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in 2009.

Twelve serious safety and health violations with $21,120 in penalties involve failing to implement a hearing conservation program that includes noise monitoring, audiometric testing and training; properly mount and identify portable fire extinguishers; provide powered industrial truck training; implement a hazard communication program that includes training; ensure proper use and listing of electrical equipment; ensure compressed air was reduced to 30 pounds per square inch; and ensure proper functioning and maintenance of mechanical power presses. 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.

Six other-than-serious safety violations with $3,960 in penalties involve failing to record workplace injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"These hazards should be immediately addressed to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "OSHA will continue to hold employers responsible when they violate federal laws."

Schneider & Marquard Inc., which employs about 24 workers at its Newton site, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.