New Jersey chemical company cited by OSHA
Inspectors found 13 serious safety and health violations at a facility owned by a New Jersey chemical company, leading to an estimated $139,000 in penalties for the employer. Eight of the violations were repeat offenses.
OSHA standards are designed to create a safe workplace and to avoid injuries to employees. Employers that fail to provide a safe environment are subject to OSHA penalties and civil suits for any workplace accidents that occur.
The citations issued to the chemical plant were for a variety of different dangerous conditions including electrical and wiring hazards, improperly marked exit routes, and lack of proper guarding and protective equipment on the machinery. Serious violations are safety issues that the employer knew or should have known about that have a substantial probability of seriously injuring someone. Employers who knew about a safety violation and failed to remedy it before someone was hurt may be open to significant liability in a civil suit for damages from the injury.
“By disregarding OSHA’s standards, this company is leaving its employees vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injury or even death,” said the local OSHA director.
Workers who are concerned about safety conditions at their job can file a complaint with OSHA. People who have already been injured by an unsafe condition also have the option of contacting an attorney to find out what their rights are. Third party liability laws can be complex, especially if there are any prior agreements between the employee and employer that relate to workplace accidents.
The same New Jersey company was cited in 2008 and 2011 for similar safety violations.
Source: OSHA News Release, “US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $139,000 in fines to New Jersey-based Kuehne Chemical for workplace hazards,” February 27, 2012.