Chemical, Fire Hazards at Soap Maker: OSHA

Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 04:05 PM gHale

Marietta Corp., a maker of soap and shampoo for hotels and retail sale, exposed workers to chemical and fire hazards and blocked emergency exit routes, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Acting on employee complaints, inspectors visited Marietta Corp. in Cortland, NY, in November and found flammable liquids not stored or used properly; employees with respirators did not have training or end up checked medically, and containers with hazardous chemicals did not have correct labeling. Similar hazards were at the Cortland plant in 2011 and at the company’s Chicago facility in 2010.

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Also, a company that provided the manufacturer with temporary employees is facing citations for chemical-related hazards.

In addition, inspectors found workers without needed eye and face protection and emergency eyewash stations; employees not trained in the use of dangerous chemicals; and forklift operators who did not receive refresher training.

In total, Marietta is facing $103,800 in fines for three repeat and six serious violations.

“The fact that we found new and repeated hazards shows Marietta Corp. must take worker health and well-being more seriously,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA’s area director in Syracuse. “Its employees are at risk of illness, injury or worse from dangerous chemicals, fire and an inability to escape in an emergency.”

Select Staffing, the temporary agency that recruits workers for Marietta, received two serious violations with $10,000 in fines. The staffing agency did not provide workers exposed to dangerous chemicals with proper eye and face protection; lacked accessible data sheets for hazardous chemicals, and did not prove there was a hazard assessment to determine what protective equipment employees would need.

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