Delair, NJ – Aluminum Shapes LLC faces proposed federal safety fines of $1.9 million following workplace accidents that hospitalized two employees at its NJ plant. The aluminum parts manufacturer stands accused of 51 safety and health violations, but contends that the new OSHA fee structure “results in higher fine amounts and unfair media attention, even as conditions improve.”
OSHA fines and penalties increased 78% in the fall of 2016 after legislation took effect which required federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The last update to OSHA’s penalty/fine structure occurred in 1990, so this recent jump reflects 26 years without increase or update.
Two serious injuries and hospitalizations at Aluminum Shapes were brought to OSHA’s attention during an inspection that began in January 2017. In separate incidents, an employee was hospitalized for chemical burns and another worker’s pelvis was broken by unguarded moving parts of a metal fabrication machine.
Additionally, OSHA cited Aluminum Shapes for repeat violations which included electrical hazards. Fines for repeat violations have increased from $70,000 per infraction to $124,709 per under the new fine structure.
While Aluminum Shapes maintains that it takes workplace safety “extremely seriously” and noted an ongoing effort to upgrade protections for its employees, OSHA reports that the company has been assessed more than $500,000 in penalties for 60 violations since 2011.
Aluminum Shapes LLC supplies construction firms, automakers, and other industries, and employs about 400.
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