October 1, 2015 – Paterson, NJ
Prestige Industries, headquartered in Lyndhurst, NJ, is currently facing up to $305,000 in OSHA fines for failing to address continued workplace hazards that contributed to the death of a worker in 2011 at the companies Bay Shore, NY facility. On March 27, 2015 inspectors from OSHA visited the companies’ Paterson, NJ facility as they received a complaint about the safety within the facility.
During the inspection, members from OSHA identified the same hazards as what was reported at the New York facility in 2011 that led 24-year-old Milton Anzora’s death. OSHA stated that they found “the absence of lockout/tagout procedures, which prevent the accidental start-up or movement of machinery.” Anzora was killed when he was crushed by a shuttle (a conveyor-belt-like apparatus) which transports clothing from washing and drying machines. Because of this violation the company was fined $31,500.
Prestige Industries has been cited by OSHA with a willful violation for lack of lockout/tagout procedures at the Paterson facility. They have additionally been cited for repeated violations for failure to train employees on the purpose and function of an energy control program, provide machine guarding and affix lockout/tagout devices on machinery. Also, among the serious violations were unsafe exit routes, electrical hazards and no established respiratory protection program.
“It is unacceptable when a company continues to neglect basic safety and health procedures, especially after experiencing a fatality,” Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York, said in an OSHA news release. “Prestige Industries’ deliberate failure to uphold its responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace is an indication that worker safety and health is not a priority, which is intolerable.”
This is a trend that has continued for Prestige Industries. Along with the incident in 2011 the company was also cited in October of 2012 for failing to protect workers from unguarded machinery, failure to establish a lockout program and procedures for controlling energy source at its North Bergen, NJ facility.
The situation at Prestige Industries only enhances the importance of taking your safety in the workplace seriously, and having proper lockout-tagout policies in place.
At ESC Services, we are in the business of lockout/tagout. If you have any questions, or need help implementing a program for your business, contact us today.