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New Wave Plastics cited by OSHA for 13 safety violations at plant

By: Rachel Abbey McCafferty
CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS

March 11, 2014

New Wave Plastics has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 13 safety violations at its Cleveland plant.

According to a news release, an OSHA inspection found a lack of training and protective equipment at the recycler and plastic products supplier. The inspection came after OSHA received a complaint last November.

The proposed penalties for the citations are $51,800. The company also must fix hazards addressed in the report and come into OSHA compliance and prove to OSHA that they met requirements.

New Wave also must notify employees about the hazard abatement and tag equipment cited in the report. It also may have to present progress reports, if required, on its improvements.

“Employers have a responsibility to train workers about hazards found in their facilities and to take precautions to prevent injuries and illnesses,” Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland, said in the release. “Employers must ensure workers are protected from hazards and that they receive the required safety training.”

Twelve of the violations were considered serious by OSHA. That means the employer either knew or should have known about the violation, and that the violation could have led to death or serious physical harm. These violations included failing to train workers about wearing personal protective equipment, the hazards related to using chemicals in the workplace, forklift safety and fire extinguishers. The company also failed to provide fire-retardant clothing, and OSHA found the “presence of combustible dust.”

Other serious violations included failing to develop a hearing conservation or hazard communication program.

The company also had one other-than-serious violation related to not giving required information about OSHA's respiratory standards to employees.

A message for the company's CEO was not immediately returned on Monday, March 10. According to the news release, New Wave Plastics has 15 days from receiving the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings.