Plastics company fined $51,800 by OSHA

Multiple serious hazards reported at facility.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Mar 10, 2014

New Wave Plastics has been cited for 13 safety violations after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found a lack of training and personal protective equipment at the Cleveland facility, a recycler and plastic products supplier. After receiving a complaint in November 2013, OSHA initiated an inspection of the facility. Proposed penalties total $51,800.

“Employers have a responsibility to train workers about hazards found in their facilities and to take precautions to prevent injuries and illnesses,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Employers must ensure workers are protected from hazards and that they receive the required safety training.”

Twelve serious violations involve failing to train workers about wearing personal protective equipment; hazards associated with the use of chemicals in the work environment; forklift safety and fire extinguishers; and failure to provide fire-retardant clothing. New Wave Plastics was also cited for failing to develop a hearing conservation program, create a hazard workplace assessment and develop a hazard communication program. The presence of combustible dust was also found.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

One other-than-serious violation was cited for not providing required information to workers on OSHA’s respiratory standards. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

New Wave Plastics has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Cleveland office at 216-447-4194.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.