Nut Maker Faces Safety Fines

Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 02:05 PM gHale

Roasted nut manufacturer Star Snacks Co. LLC is facing $180,000 in fines for two willful and six serious safety violations, according to officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The violations include overexposure to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and noise hazards found at the company’s Bayonne, NJ, manufacturing facility, OSHA said.

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“A forklift operator was overexposed to carbon monoxide and hospitalized in 2007, but Star Snacks Co. still doesn’t have the necessary safeguards in place to protect its employees from carbon monoxide, noise and other workplace hazards,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “This lack of care for employee health is unacceptable.”

The willful violations, carrying a $140,000 penalty, were for exposing employees to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Overexposure to carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and death. The company also received citations for failing to provide baseline and annual audiograms and implement controls to reduce noise levels. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violations, with a $40,000 penalty, were for failing to provide employees training in chemical and noise hazards, OSHA said. Other citations were for failing to: provide suitable hearing protection; ensure employees who experienced hearing loss ended up refitted and retrained in the use of hearing protectors; ensure complete recordkeeping of audiometric testing results; provide safe exit routes; and implement a written chemical hazard communication program. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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