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OSHA cites NJ company for workplace safety violations after worker crushed to death in conveyor belt

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A New Jersey demolition and concrete recycling company is facing citations for safety violations after a worker’s death prompted an investigation by federal workplace safety officials.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today that the agency has cited a Newark, NJ business operating under the names of T. Fiore Demolition Inc. and T. Fiore Recycling Corp. for eleven serious safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $47,600.

On December 30, 2011, a worker at T. Fiore died after he was entrapped in a moving conveyor belt. OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office initiated an investigation of the worker fatality and found the company failed to install machine guarding prior to allowing the worker to operate alongside the conveyor system.

A serious violation is one that has a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. OSHA issued citations to T. Fiore for alleged serious violations involving:

  • Inadequate guardrails
  • Inadequate grab bars on fixed ladders
  • Lack of safe access to scaffolds
  • Trip and fall hazards due to unsafe accumulation of debris on scaffolds
  • Failure to train employees and have procedures for “lockout/tagout” control of hazardous energy on machinery
  • Failure to provide “lockout/tagout” devices for control of hazardous energy to employees who service dangerous machines
  • Unguarded moving machine parts, belts and pulleys
  • Improper storage of compressed gases

"This tragedy could have been prevented if the company had followed OSHA's guidelines and installed machine guarding on its conveyor system," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so."

T. Fiore has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply, contest the citations and penalties or request an informal hearing with the OSHA area director.