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OSHA Fines New Jersey Laundry $219,000 for Reported Safety Violations

Staff Writer |

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Prestige Industries LLC, doing business as Prestige, for safety violations found at its commercial laundry facility in North Bergen.

A complaint initiated OSHA’s October 2012 investigation and resulted in $219,000 in proposed penalties.

The agency identified four repeat violations, carrying a $185,500 penalty, based on the company’s alleged failure to protect workers from unguarded machinery, establish a lockout/tagout program and procedures for controlling energy sources, and provide energy control training for workers who perform maintenance on machines.

A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violations were cited in 2012 following a worker’s death after being caught in an unguarded machine at the company’s Bayshore, N.Y., facility, OSHA says.

The agency also noted five serious violations, with a $33,500 penalty, that were due to alleged electrical hazards; an inadequate confined-space program and failure to identify permit-required confined spaces; and no hazard communication program, training and material safety data sheets.

OSHA says a serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“The safety hazards present at this facility pose serious risks to workers and must be immediately corrected,” says Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “OSHA will continue to hold employers legally accountable when they fail to provide safe workplaces.”

Prestige, based in Jersey City, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations can be viewed here.

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