UniFirst Corp., a Wilmington uniform and laundry service was cited for seven serious health and safety violations at its West Caldwell facility. A complaint prompted US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate.
One of OSHA’s directors said, “The violations at this facility compromise the safety and health of UniFirst’s workers. It is vital that the company take appropriate steps to eliminate all identified hazards.”
Thee willful violations include a failure to conduct proper training and provide hepatitis B vaccinations, and a failure to have engineering and work practice controls in place to eliminate or diminish exposure to bloodborne pathogens. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. These citations constitute $165,000 in fines.
Four serious violations include a locked emergency door, a lack of training on fire extinguisher use, lead-contaminated surfaces, inadequate training on OSHA’s lead standard, and not providing gloves to workers who were handling potentially contaminated clothing. A serious violation occurs 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. These citations accumulate to $21,000 in fines.
OSHA’s regional director for New York said, “A first step toward a safer, healthier workplace is to develop and implement an illness and injury prevention program in which management and workers proactively identify and eliminate hazardous conditions.”
Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.
US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $186,000 in fines to Mass.-based uniform and laundry company for hazards at West Caldwell, NJ, facility, US Department of Labor, May 10, 2012