Pet Food Manufacturer Cited for Failing to Rectify Hazards in the Workplace

work injury lawyer New JerseyThe U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it has cited a New Jersey-based pet food manufacturer for failing to ensure the safety of its workers by exposing them to various safety and health hazards.

In May, OSHA inspectors visited Hamilitime Herb Co. of Howell, New Jersey and found the following violations: no lockout/tagout program to prevent machinery from starting up automatically and no safeguards for employees who may come into contact with machinery lacking protective barriers; no respiratory protection program requiring employees to wear respirators that will not come loose; and no adequate training and certification programs for forklift operators. This visit was a follow-up to two others last year.

On June 21, 2017, OSHA inspected the facility after an employee lost four fingers in a batch mixer while attempting to clean it. According to the report, on that day at 12:30 p.m., the employee was cleaning out some material at the bottom of the machine and turned on the machine to dry out the inside. While cleaning the machine, the employee’s hand got stuck in the machine and four of the worker’s fingers were cut off by the blades. As a result, OSHA found eight violations in total and levied $89,100 in penalties against the company.

On August 10, 2017, OSHA visited Hamilitime again and found that the company failed to provide adequate respiratory protection for its employees. The agency levied $58,887 in penalties.

Based on the findings from the May visit, OSHA has proposed levying a penalty of $152,829. The company has 15 days from the date of receipt of the citations of penalties to comply; the company also has the option to either meet with the regional OSHA director or contest the agency’s findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. In personal injury cases, a plaintiff must prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence in order to win. The attorneys at Rinaldo Law Group are skilled personal injury lawyers who will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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