Somerville, New Jersey, company fined $136,290 for
willfully exposing workers to safety and health hazards.
SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Custom-order cabinetry company Choice Cabinetry LLC exposed employees to safety and health hazards, many involving methylene chloride,
according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and
Health Administration. Initiated as part of its Site-Specific Targeting
Program for industries with high injury and illness rates, OSHA's March
2014 inspection cited the Somerville company for 15 violations,
including three willful. Proposed penalties total $136,290.
"Methylene chloride is a CARCINOGEN, so it's vital that employers
like Choice Cabinetry take all necessary steps to protect workers when
there is exposure," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area
Office. "All workers have the right to a safe and healthy work
environment, and OSHA will hold each employer accountable when this
legal obligation is not met."
Three (3) willful violations were cited for the company's lack of a
hazard communication program, hazard communication training and
methylene chloride training. Workers exposed to methylene chloride are
at increased risk of developing cancer and skin and eye irritation and
may suffer adverse effects on the heart, central nervous system and
liver. These willful citations carry a penalty of $53,900. 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.
One failure-to-abate citation, with a $27,720 penalty, was issued for
the company's failure to install alarms on the walk-in spray booth.
Alarms would warn employees of inadequate ventilation during spraying
operations. A failure-to-abate violation exists when the employer has
not corrected a violation for which OSHA has issued a citation and the
abatement date has passed or is covered under a settlement agreement.
Carrying a penalty of $21,560, four repeat violations were cited for
damaging noise levels and respiratory program deficiencies. The company
was previously cited for these violations at the same location in 2011.
A repeat violation exists 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 company was cited for seven serious violations, carrying a
$32,340 penalty, due to employee exposure to methylene chloride,
including a lack of personal protective equipment
and eyewash facilities. 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.
One additional violation with a $770 penalty was cited because the
company failed to provide injury and illness records within four hours
of OSHA's request.
Choice Cabinetry has 15 business days from receipt of its citations
and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area
director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & 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 Avenel Area Office at
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,
10 Things That Any Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity Plan Should Have.
A new report finds that one in five
organizations lacks an emergency preparedness/business continuity plan,
which could mean a double disaster for those companies.
The International Facility
Management Association (IFMA) and RLE Technologies recently released a
report on facility management perspectives on emergency preparedness and
business continuity in North America.
The report, “High Stakes Business: People, Property and Services,” which draws on data gathered at multiple IFMA Emergency Planning and
Business Continuity research forums and the IFMA 2014 Business
Continuity Survey, makes a strong business case for the importance of
practicing emergency preparedness/business continuity planning, and then
provides a step-by-step guide to do so effectively.
people think of business emergency preparedness plans, they tend to
imagine massive newsworthy catastrophes like hurricanes, floods,
earthquakes, tornadoes, bombings and shootings,” said Tony Keane,
president and CEO of IFMA. “These events are certainly significant in
their scope, but for most organizations the bulk of business
interruption risk actually comes from more mundane threats like a
leaking or bursting pipe, an internet access outage, or a power outage
caused by an external event. The difference between bouncing back with
minimal disruption or costly, long-term damage is often the plan that
was in place long before the disaster occurred.”
The full IFMA/RLE Technologies report
found that nearly one in five (19 percent) surveyed organizations did
not have an up-to-date emergency preparedness/business continuity plan.
This figure is only more shocking considering the catastrophically high
cost that an unforeseen emergency can incur – including the possibility
of total business failure. The study suggests that the 81 percent of
organizations with an up-to-date plan are “not only able to handle
identified risks, but they are also more resilient when recovering from
preparedness and business continuity is an organization’s lifeline,”
said Mark Sekula, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMP, LEED AP and president of
Facility Futures Inc. “Without it, a successful company can collapse in a
heartbeat.” Sekula moderated the 2014 Research Forum on Emergency
Planning and Business Continuity.
“Far too many organizational leaders think it will never happen to them. They are wrong.” ~ Nick Bettis, director of marketing for RLE Technologies
study makes a compelling case for elevating the role of facility
management professional as a strategic partner as organizations and
facilities gain complexity. For businesses developing or updating their
emergency preparedness/business continuity plans, there are 10 areas
that must be considered. An FM professional plays a significant role
throughout this process.
1. Define roles
– Determine who is responsible for the formation and execution of the
plan. This is often a role assumed by a facility management professional
and/or a facility management team.
2. Define mission-critical functions
– Prioritize functions so you can determine which to dedicate resources
to protecting and which to address first in the case of a failure.
3. Define risks – Assess vulnerabilities, especially to mission-critical functions, and determine their likelihood.
4. Calculate costs – Estimate the cost of down-time as well as the cost of preparation and planning.
5. Monitor – Utilize manpower and technology to catch disasters before they occur.
6. Communicate – Make sure your post-emergency communications plan is resilient.
7. Test – Ensure the elements of your plan are in good working order.
8. Practice – When possible, conduct live drills and tabletop exercises.
9. Adapt and adjust
– A plan should be an organic thing, not something you write and file.
Make regular adjustments based on testing, practice and changing
situations and priorities.
10. Crowd source
– Develop a network of strategic partners and facility management
professionals that you can go to for advice when disaster strikes.
organization from 10 to 10,000 or more employees needs to consider what
can and will happen when threats to up-time arise,” said Nick Bettis,
director of marketing for RLE Technologies. “Far too many organizational
leaders think it will never happen to them. They are wrong.”
Author: Sandy Smith Source: http://ehstoday.com/emergency-management/10-things-any-emergency-preparednessbusiness-continuity-plan-should-have
Brooklyn Medical Facility cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for inadequateworkplace violence safeguards
Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center inspected after worker complaints
NEW YORK – Employees of Brookdale
University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn were exposed to head,
eye, face and groin injuries and intimidation and threats during
routine interactions with patients and visitors. The employer failed to
protect employees adequately against workplace violence,
an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and
Health Administration has found. The medical center faces $78,000 in
fines following an inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office that began
Feb. 10, 2014, in response to a complaint.
OSHA found approximately 40 incidents of workplace
violence reported between Feb.7 and April 12, 2014. These incidents
involved employees who were threatened or physically and verbally
assaulted by patients and visitors, or when breaking up altercations
between patients. The most serious incident was the Feb.7 assault of a
nurse, who sustained severe brain injuries when she was attacked while
"Brookdale management was aware of these incidents
and did not take effective measures to prevent assaults against its
employees. The facility's workplace violence program was ineffective,
with many employees unaware of its purpose, specifics or existence,"
said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
As a result, OSHA cited Brookdale for one willful
violation, with a proposed fine of $70,000, for failing to develop and
implement adequate measures to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of
physical violence and assaults against employees by patients or
visitors. A willful violation is one committed with intentional or
voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain
indifference to worker safety and health.
"The hazard of violence against employees is
well-recognized in the health care industry and known to this employer,"
said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
"Brookdale must actively and effectively implement a Workplace Violence
Prevention Program immediately to ensure the safety and well-being of
Elements of an effective workplace violence prevention program could include, but not be limited to:
Administrative controls, including job site hazard assessment,
evaluation of existing controls, implementing new policies and
procedures and incident reviews.
Engineering controls, including installing panic alarm systems and
protective barriers, and configuring treatment areas to maximize an
employee's ability to escape workplace violence.
Personal protective equipment, including personal alarm systems for
staff and an appropriate system and way to contact security/correctional
Training encompassing workplace violence prevention, stress
management, recognition of the signs of potential violence and
post-incident procedures and services to treat traumatized employees
involved in a workplace violence incident.
Brookdale was cited and fined $8,000 for failing to
correctly review and certify the OSHA 300A illness and injury reporting
form and for not providing forms when requested by the authorized