OSHA says one of the region's largest commercial laundry companies continues to expose its employees to the same workplace hazards that contributed to the 2011 death of a 24-year-old worker at a Prestige Industries LLC facility in Bay Shore, New York.
After receiving a complaint, the agency began an inspection of the company's Paterson facility on March 27, 2015. The agency determined that employees faced hazards similar to those at the Bay Shore facility, including the absence of lockout/tagout procedures, which prevent the accidental start-up or movement of machinery. OSHA cited the company for one willful, three repeated and five serious safety and health violations. Proposed fines total $305,300.
"It is unacceptable when a company continues to neglect basic safety and health procedures, especially after experiencing a fatality. Prestige Industries' deliberate failure to uphold its responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace is an indication that worker safety and health is not a priority, which is intolerable," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Without an effective, comprehensive injury and illness prevention program that evaluates, identifies and eliminates hazards proactively, Prestige's employees will remain at risk of injury or death."
OSHA cited Prestige Industries with a willful violation for lack of lockout/tagout procedures. The agency also cited the company for repeated violations for failure to train employees on the purpose and function of an energy control program, provide machine guarding and affix lockout/tagout devices on machinery. Unsafe exit routes*, electrical hazards and no established respiratory protection program were among the serious violations.
To view the citations, visit www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PrestigeIndustriesLLC_1049617.pdf*.
With headquarters in Lyndhurst, Prestige Industries cleans laundry for different industries at two New Jersey facilities and one in Long Island, New York. The Paterson location launders fabrics for the hotel industry.