Heymann & Fletcher

Risk of work-related injuries high at New Jersey window company

OSHA issues citations in the "serious" category when the agency determines that the probability of serious physical harm or death is substantially high. In order to fall into that category, the agency must also have determined that the employer knew (or, at least, should have known) that a workplace hazard existed. Based on OSHA's serious-category standards for citations, it may not be unreasonable to assume that many would feel that a vinyl-window manufacturer in New Jersey is a company whose production employees stand a good chance of suffering work-related injuries -- the company received a total of 14 alleged citations for serious violations after an inspection in June.

Among the workplace hazards cited were hazardous chemicals that were kept in unlabeled containers. In addition, workers were not provided with the required face and eye protection. Exit routes were also not kept free from obstructions and exit signs were not posted.

A repeat citation was issued for the company's failure to create a program to communicate to its workers the hazards of working with the chemicals that are part of their duties. Another repeat violation was issued as a result of the employer not having provided training in the use of those hazardous chemicals. Both repeat violations were originally cited after a previous inspection in 2010.

The OSHA inspection also cited two serious violations for unsafe conditions with regard to electrical wiring. When New Jersey residents suffer work-related injuries, they can file a workers' compensation claim that can help cover the cost of medical treatment while also providing at least some assistance in handling their living expenses. Although some may find the filing process somewhat daunting, by enlisting the assistance of those who are both knowledgeable and experienced in these matters, an injured worker will discover how much more smoothly and quickly the filing process can be made to move forward.

Source: osha.gov, Newark, NJ, vinyl window manufacturer cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for exposing workers to safety and health hazards, Joanna Hawkins and Leni Fortson, Aug. 20, 2013

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