Blocked exits, chemical hazards found at NJ apparel companies
OSHA fines total $64,200
OSHA inspectors acting on a complaint found safety hazards at one N.J. company that led them to find safety hazards at an additional company. Both companies are located at 473 Ridge Road in Dayton, New Jersey, and have the same management, maintenance employees and safety departments.
Imagine Screen Printing & Productions LLC, which imprints graphic design images onto apparel such as t-shirts and sweatshirts, was the first to get a visit from OSHA – on Oct. 1, 2014. Central Mills Inc., doing business as Freeze, sorts, packs and distributes the apparel to some of the nation's largest retailers, including Walmart, Macy's and Target.
The inspection was expanded to include Freeze on Nov. 6, 2014, when inspectors discovered that company employees were also exposed to observed hazards.
Investigation findings: Imagine was cited for 15 serious citations including:
- Not providing and maintaining a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excessive noise;
- Blocked exits*;
- Tripping and fall hazards;
- Not training workers on chemical hazards;
- Not providing lockout/tagout training to all employees who work in an area where energy control devices are used on equipment; and
- Not providing eyewash facilities.
Freeze received seven serious citations for blocked aisles and exit routes, energy control deficiencies, failure to train workers on chemical hazards, unsecured storage racks, and damaged electrical connections on forklift battery chargers.
"The safety and health hazards found in both inspections put workers at risk of being seriously injured or worse, and should be immediately corrected," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office.