Warehouse/Distribution Center Faces $123,100 in Fines

OSHA announced Monday it has filed $123,100 in penalties against O.C.E. Warehouse and Distribution Center in Edison, N.J., for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The agency started an inspection on July 29, 2008, in response to a referral from the Edison New Jersey Department of Public Safety-Division of Fire that alleged the facility's fire exits and aisles were blocked and unsecured merchandise was being stored on racks.

OSHA eventually lodged citations for two willful violations, with a penalty of $100,000, and 12 serious violations, with a penalty of $23,100. OSHA said the warehouse/distribution center employs 82 people.

"These violations severely limit the company's ability to protect employees in the face of fire or another emergency," said Patricia Jones, area director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office in New Jersey. "By establishing an effective health and safety management system, the center can eliminate the violations and ensure a safe and healthy workplace."

The serious violations include the company's alleged failure to properly identify exit doors, supply employees with PPE, remove defective forklifts from service, provide adequate training, provide adequate evaluations and procedures for industrial forklift operators, and provide proper storage in workspace areas around electrical equipment. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest them before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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