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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Passaic NJ distribution warehouse fined $112K for two dozen safety violations

OSHA cites Oaxaca Mexican Products for blocking fire exit, 20 other serious violations

Oaxaca Mexican Products, 100 8th St., Passaic, New Jersey was issued citations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for one willful, 20 serious and three other-than-serious violations on May 3, 2016.

OSHA opened an inspection on May 3, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging that there were unsafe conditions in the facility, including blocked fire exits. Inspectors issued a willful citation after finding an exit door and route obstructed by locking devices that require special knowledge and tools to open in case of emergency. OSHA cited the company previously for the same type of condition on the same door.
  • Serious citations were issued for the following: 
  • Fall hazards. 
  • Inadequate and improper exit signage. 
  • Lack of machine guarding. 
  • Improper spliced electrical cable. 
  • Failure to have a written hazard assessment and a hazard communication program. 
  • Lack of eye-wash facilities where employees use corrosive chemicals. 
  • Lack of Material Safety Data Sheets. 
  • Lack of training regarding hazardous chemicals used in the workplace. 

 "The fact that Oaxaca has again put its employees' lives at risk by not making sure a fire safety door was easily opened is completely unacceptable," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "In this day and age, providing employees with proper emergency exits is safety 101."

Proposed penalties: $112,700

The citations can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

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.