Following a long history of noncompliance according to OSHA, the agency has issued $1,922,895 in fines to an aluminum manufacturing company after inspectors learned two employees were hospitalized in separate incidents.
Aluminum Shapes LLC of Delair, NJ, faces 51 safety and health violations in connection with the two incidents.
The first incident occurred when employees entered a tank to drain residual sludge containing dehydrated sodium hydroxide and decomposed metal. Workers told supervisors they were experiencing chemical burns to their skin. One of the employees had to be hospitalized.
The second incident occurred when a machine operator broke his pelvis after being caught between unguarded moving parts of a machine.
OSHA issued willful citations for failure to:
- Provide appropriate personal protective equipment
- Conduct air monitoring before permit-required confined space entry
- Have an attendant during permit-required confined space entry
- Complete a confined space entry permit to identify, evaluate and control hazards
- Provide confined space training
- Use proper lockout/tagout procedures
- Provide workers with locks and hardware to lock out equipment being serviced
- Develop specific procedures for use of blocking devices
- Use group lockout procedures, and
- Train workers in lockout/tagout.
OSHA also cited the company for repeat violations, including:
- fall hazards
- lack of stair rails
- lack of machine guarding, and
- electrical hazards.
The company received serious citations for:
- inadequate ladders
- inappropriate respiratory and hearing protection
- insufficient entry permits, and
- lack of machine guarding and hazardous chemical training.
Other-than-serious violations included the company’s failure to record each injury on its OSHA log.
The company has been inspected eight times since 2011 with 60 previous violations and $516,753 in fines. With the most recent penalties, that brings the total fines to almost two-and-a-half million dollars.
Aluminum Shapes manufactures aluminum parts used by several industries, including distribution, building and construction, transportation, electrical, automotive, machinery and equipment, and durable consumer goods.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the violations to pay the fines, enter into talks with OSHA or appeal them to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.