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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Newman and Company for exposing workers to numerous workplace safety and health hazards after a worker was killed at the paper manufacturer’s Philadelphia plant.
OSHA initiated an investigation on June 12 after being notified that a worker was crushed by a paper hopper during loading operations. As a result of the investigation, citations were issued for 39 serious and four other-than-serious violations.
“All of these violations contribute to an extremely hazardous work environment for Newman and Co. employees,” said Al D’Imperio, director of OSHA’s Philadelphia Area Office. “It is absolutely vital that the company remove all hazards to prevent future tragedies from occurring.”
Serious violations include the company’s failing to remove hazards from aisles, an inadequate lockout/tagout program that exposes workers to hazardous energy, inadequate machine guarding, electrical hazards, blocked fire exits, an ineffective pest control program, a lack of personal protection equipment to protect against burns, inadequate exposure control for bloodborne pathogens and a lack of runway guard rails. 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.
Other-than-serious citations were issued for failing to provide hearing conservation training, effectively inform workers of the dangers related to confined space and record employee injuries. 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.
OSHA has proposed a total of $86,100 in penalties against the company, which has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.