The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has completed its investigation into a deadly December 2021 accident at CJ TMI Manufacturing America LLC in Robbinsville, New Jersey. During the incident, a contractor fell from a scissor lift while attempting to repair a freezer drain. OSHA found that a safety chain on the scissor list was defective at the time of the incident.
The OSHA investigation found that the company exposed its workers to numerous hazards:
- Amputations and lacerations from unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery.
- Explosion hazards from accumulations of combustible flour dust on equipment, floors and surfaces throughout the plant.
- Confined space hazards when entering a wastewater pit to service a water meter.
- Hexavalent chromium hazards during welding operations.
- Chemical burns from caustic chemicals due to inaccessible decontamination showers and eyewash stations.
- Being struck by forklifts operated by untrained employees.
- Numerous electric shock hazards.
Following the investigation, OSHA issued multiple citations. OSHA found numerous regulations were violated, including the following:
- 29 CFR 1910.37(a)(3): Exit route(s) were not kept free and unobstructed.
- 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(2)(ii): The employer’s tagout energy control program procedures did not successfully comply with 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(3) and no lockout was provided for employee protection.
- 29 CFR 1910.14 7(d)(4 )(i): Lockout devices were not affixed to each energy isolating device by authorized employees.
- 29 CFR 1910.151(c): Where employees were exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body were not provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.
- 29 CFR 1910.178(1)(1)(i): The employer did not ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in this paragraph (1).
- 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1):One or more methods of machine guarding was not provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.
- 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(3)(ii): Point(s) of operation of machinery were not guarded to prevent employee(s) from having any part of their body in the danger zone(s) during operating cycle(s).
- 29 CFR 1926.451(f)(3): Scaffolds and scaffold components were not inspected for visible defects by a competent person before each work shift.
- 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1) as referenced in 29 CFR 1910.27(a): Each employee on a scaffold more than 10 feet above a lower level was not protected from falling to that lower level.
- 29 CFR 1910.146(d)(9):The employer did not develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services, for rescuing entrants from permit spaces, for providing necessary emergency services to rescued employees, and/or for preventing unauthorized entry.
- 29 CFR 1910.252(b)(3): Employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations were not protected by personal protective equipment in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.132.
- 29 CFR 1910.1026(h)(1): Where a hazard was present or was likely present from skin or eye contact with chromium (VI), the employer did not provide appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment at no cost to employees, and did not ensure that employees used such clothing and equipment.
OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $368,513.00.
Workers face risks and hazards that must be planned for before work begins. It goes without saying that safe companies must have adequate policies and procedures to protect their workers. It is not just workers who are at risk, but also members of the public or employees of other companies. Of course, adequate training of workers is also required.
Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured in an industrial accident. The experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident at a plant.
Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party. There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.