After an inspection of its manufacturing facilities, Norwood, New Jersey-based Earth Friendly Products was issued a series of safety hazard citations and a fine totalling $124,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA), according to the safety agency's website.
The investigation was initiated following a complaint submitted anonymously by an employee. During the on-site visit, OSHA inspectors discovered deficiencies related to the company's machinery protection systems, including a lack of "lock-out/tag out" protocols, unsafe practices involving the handling of hazardous materials, damage to the protective equipment issued to employees, a lack of eye washing stations and insufficient hazard communication systems. The safety agency, according to its website, deemed these "serious violations," meaning that there is a substantial risk of injury or death as a result of the company's alleged problems.
"The large number and extensive range of safety and health hazards found at this establishment are of great concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration," Lisa Levy, OSHA's area director in Hasbrouck Heights, said in a statement. "This employer needs to address the hazards to prevent injuries from occurring at its facility."
According to the safety agency's guidelines, companies that are issued hazard citations have 15 business days to respond. They may choose to rectify the problems identified by OSHA, request a meeting with the local investigative office or appeal the charges before an independent board. At this time, according to OSHA's press release, Earth Friendly Products has not responded to the allegations.
Deficient protective clothing can place a company's workers unnecessarily in harm's way. Businesses can avoid regulatory citation and possible fines by ordering new supplies of safety glasses, work gloves or other items needed on a day-to-day basis.
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