NJ Aluminum Company Fined $1.9 Million

"Despite its lengthy OSHA history, Aluminum Shapes still does not comply with federal safety and health standards," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "These hazards leave workers vulnerable to the risk of serious injury and possible death."

OSHA announced that it has cited a Camden County, N.J., aluminum manufacturing company for 51 health and safety violations and has proposed penalties totaling $1,922,895. The company has "a long history of noncompliance with OSHA standards," according to the agency, which began its inspection of Delair-based Aluminum Shapes, LLC on Jan. 23, 2017.

During the past seven years, OSHA has inspected the facility eight times, cited the employer for 60 violations, and assessed $516,753 in penalties.

The 2017 inspection showed that two employees were hospitalized after separate incidents. The first incident occurred when employees entered a tank to drain residual sludge containing dehydrated sodium hydroxide, aluminum oxide, and decomposed metal. "After reporting to their supervisors that they were experiencing chemical burns to their skin and attempting to wash off the chemicals, employees were directed to re-enter the tank, where they suffered further chemical injuries, resulting in the hospitalization of one employee," OSHA reported. "The second incident occurred when a machine operator suffered a broken pelvis after being caught between the unguarded moving parts of a metal fabrication machine."

OSHA has issued willful citations because of the company's alleged failure to:

  • Provide appropriate PPE
  • Conduct air monitoring prior to permit-required confined space entry
  • Have an attendant during permit-required confined space entry
  • Complete a required confined space entry permit to identify, evaluate, and control hazards in the space
  • Provide confined space training
  • Utilize proper lockout/tagout procedures
  • Provide workers with locks and hardware to lock out equipment being serviced, maintained, or repaired
  • Provide specific procedures for the use of blocking devices
  • Use group lockout procedures
  • Train workers on lockout/tagout

"Despite its lengthy OSHA history, Aluminum Shapes still does not comply with federal safety and health standards," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "These hazards leave workers vulnerable to the risk of serious injury and possible death."

OSHA also cited the company for repeat violations that included fall hazards, lack of stair rails and machine guarding, and electrical hazards, as well as issuing serious citations for inadequate ladders, inappropriate respiratory and hearing protection, insufficient entry permits, and lack of machine guarding and hazardous chemical training. Other-than-serious violations included the company’s failure to record each injury on its injury log.

"Aluminum Shapes' extensive list of violations reflects a workplace that does not prioritize worker safety and health," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "The company can more effectively protect its workers by implementing a comprehensive safety and health management system."

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