Plastics processor Sinclair & Rush Inc. faces $127,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for allegedly exposing workers to methylene chloride and not providing proper personal protective equipment and medical surveillance.
A Feb. 2 statement from OSHA said the company allowed workers to be overexposed to the solvent, did not provide proper PPE and eye-wash stations and "failed to implement engineering controls and work practices to reduce employee exposure."
OSHA's complaint lists 10 series violations and one other citation at the company's Carlstadt, N.J., facility.
"Allowing employees to be exposed to methylene chloride improperly puts them at an increased risk of certain cancers, damage to the heart, liver and central nervous system, and skin or eye irritation, said Lisa Levy, area director for OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., office.
"Employers must ensure critical safety and health precautions are in place to protect workers using or potentially exposed to this highly hazardous solvent from injury or illness," she said. "OSHA recommends employers use alternative, less hazardous chemicals or methods to prevent worker exposure to methylene chloride."
In a statement, Sinclair & Rush said it was examining the OSHA citations.
"The company currently is reviewing those citations and intends to follow up with OSHA officials upon completion of that review," said President and CEO Bradford Philip. "In the meantime, the company is taking all appropriate measures to maintain the health and safety of its employees."
Sinclair & Rush is based in Arnold, Mo., and has operations in dip molding, extrusion, thermoforming, injection molding and foam extrusion at factories in the U.S., the United Kingdom, China and Australia.
The company makes protective packaging, caps and plugs, and molded hand grips.