New Jersey Spa Paying Fine in Heat-Related Death

A $25,000 fine follows the death of an employee at the employer's high-temperature sauna, OSHA announced.

OSHA announced that Super King Sauna NJ LLC will correct the hazardous conditions cited after a 68-year-old employee's death and will pay a $25,000 fine in connection with the case. The agency's investigation found the man died while working in a Bulhanjeungmok, a Korean-style sauna where temperatures can rise peak at 700 degrees Fahrenheit before settling to about 150 degrees F.

"Although there are only a handful of these types of saunas in the United States, they are gaining popularity. Operators of all saunas must take the necessary steps to protect employees from excessive heat exposure to prevent future incidents," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "To ensure the future safety of its employees and the workplace, Super King Sauna NJ agreed to correct the cited hazards and cooperated fully with our investigation."

OSHA's investigation resulted in eight serious citations and one other-than-serious health and safety violation, finding that the company failed to:

  • Implement a heat stress illness prevention program
  • Provide PPE to employees who work in excessive heat
  • Develop, implement, and maintain a written hazard communication program
  • Provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area
  • Use danger tags to warn against thermal burn hazards and carbon monoxide exposure
  • Provide training for an employee expected to use a fire extinguisher
  • Evaluate the workplace to determine whether spaces are permit-required confined spaces

"Establishing an employee rotation schedule to prevent prolonged exposure to heat, developing specific emergency and first aid procedures, and maintaining an awareness of certain medications and medical conditions that increase the risk of heat-related illness are a few measures employers can implement to prepare for and handle heat-related incidents," Levy said.

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