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Company cited for exposing workers to diacetyl and other workplace hazards

Employer facing $122K in penalties

Posted December 23, 2015

A New Jersey flavoring and fragrance manufacturer was recently cited by OSHA for two willful and ten serious violations. OSHA is proposing penalties of $122,000.

OSHA initiated an inspection on June 2, 2015, after being notified of an employee injury. Citations were issued for willful violations related to hazards associated with exposure to diacetyl, a chemical linked to respiratory illnesses including organ damage.

"When employees are exposed to certain airborne flavorings like diacetyl, they are more likely to develop respiratory symptoms such as cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing with exertion or exercise," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office.

Additionally, serious violations were cited for hazards related to confined space, including failure to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces were permit-required confined space and failure to develop and implement a written permit-required space program.

Other serious violations included the lack of program procedures related to preventing the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout; employee exposure to flammable liquids; and exposure to open-sided work platforms without railings.

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