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OHSA Fines Fragrance Manufacturer $63k for Safety Violations
May 31, 2016
1 Min Read
A Bethlehem, PA manufacturer of flavors and fragrances has been cited with eight safety violations by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing workers to chemical hazards and other dangers, the agency announced Tuesday.
The investigation began after OSHA responded to a referral from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency that alleged that an unknown chemical odor had caused respiratory distress among employees of Ungerer & Company. On May 25, OSHA issued one repeat and six serious violations, in addition to one “other-than-serious” violation, an agency press release said.
The eight violations total a proposed penalty of $63,450, OSHA said.
Among the serious violations, OSHA’s investigation found that employees were exposed to hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous and potentially explosive gas; the facility had no emergency response plan; “feasible administrative and engineering controls” were not in use; and safety data sheets were not maintained and lacked the mandated safety and health information. A ladder stand was not equipped with safety stops to hinder horizontal movement, and the facility’s dust collection unit that handle combustible dust did not have proper explosion protection or suppression systems.
The agency issued repeat violations for failure to use approved electrical equipment to clean combustible dust and failed to train employees who are expected to be a part of emergency response operations. The company was cited in 2013 for similar violations.
“Ungerer & Company should immediately implement safeguards to protect its workers from the dangerous risks associated with exposure to combustible dust and chemical hazards,” said the director of OSHA’s Allentown [PA] area office, Jean Kulp. “Employers will be held legally accountable for failing to provide a safe and healthful workplace.”
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