OSHA Cites N.J. Company for Safety Violations

August 4, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Testrite Instrument Company, Newark, N.J., and proposed $185,600 in penalties, for alleged violations of safety and health standards. The company, which employs 135 workers, manufacturers display booth frames, tri-pods, and easels among other products.

According to Philip Peist, area director of OSHA’s Parsippany office, the inspection found that Testrite failed to provide adequate guards on several different machines that exposed workers to amputations and other serious injuries. “The company was well aware of the requirements of the law, but continued to put their workers in jeopardy.” said Peist. Three willful violations were issued with a proposed penalty of $144,000. Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the OSH act.

The agency issued 24 serious violations, with a penalty of $40,600, for exposing workers to crushing injuries between the elevator and shaft; additional machine guarding problems; blocked exit routes; lack of periodic inspections on equipment; improperly stored combustible gas tanks, and lack of personal protective equipment, such as eye protection and cut resistant gloves. A serious violation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could occur.

OSHA’s inspection also led to six other-than-serious violations, with a penalty of $1,000, for failing to: report four different mechanical power press injuries; provide employees with information on the respirator standards, and provide a selection of hearing protectors.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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