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Monday, April 6, 2015

OSHA fines Dayton, New Jersey, companies $64,200 for blocked exit routes and chemical, noise and energy control hazards

Employers name and location: Imagine Screen Printing & Productions LLC, which imprints graphic design images onto apparel such as t-shirts and sweatshirts. Central Mills Inc., doing business as Freeze, sorts, packs and distributes the apparel to some of the nation's largest retailers, including Walmart, Macy's and Target.

Both companies are located at 473 Ridge Road in Dayton, New Jersey, and have the same management, maintenance employees and safety departments.

Date investigation initiated: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an inspection of Imagine Screen Printing & Productions LLC on Oct. 1, 2014, in response to a complaint alleging workplace safety and health hazards. The inspection was expanded to include Freeze on Nov. 6, 2014, when inspectors discovered that company employees were also exposed to observed hazards.

Investigation findings: Imagine was cited for 15 serious citations including:

Not providing and maintaining a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excessive noise;

Blocked exits*;

Tripping and fall hazards;

Not training workers on chemical hazards;

Not providing lockout/tagout training to all employees who work in an area where energy control devices are used on equipment; and

Not providing eyewash facilities.

Freeze received seven serious citations for blocked aisles and exit routes, energy control deficiencies, failure to train workers on chemical hazards, unsecured storage racks, and damaged electrical connections on forklift battery chargers. 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.

"The safety and health hazards found in both inspections put workers at risk of being seriously injured or worse, and should be immediately corrected," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "Employers are legally responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for employees."

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Proposed penalties: $43,200 for Imagine Screen Printing & Productions LLC, and $21,000 for Freeze.

View the citations:*