In New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a total of 28 citations against French nail polish manufacturer Fiabila USA Inc. as well as two staffing agencies, in the wake of an investigation that uncovered explosion and chemical hazards at a plant in Mine Hill. In all, the citations could result in $139,500 in total penalties.
After receiving a complaint, OSHA conducted an inspection in May 2014. During the inspection, they found flammable liquids stored in indoor tanks, and they found that workers at the plant were routinely exposed to fire, explosion and safety and health hazards related to flammable chemicals. In July, one of the tanks overflowed, due to a safety mechanism that was disabled or broken.
Most of the citations proposed by OSHA were against Fiabila for exposing workers to hazards. In all, they face 23 citations that could cost them $109,500. JobConnection was cited for three violations for failure to properly train temporary workers, and they face $18,000 in fines, while Joulé faces $12,000 in penalties for two violations for the same failure.
In announcing the citations, OSHA made special note of the status of the workers, saying, “Whether temporary or permanent, workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing agencies and host employers are joint employers of temporary workers. Both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions free of potentially fatal hazards.”
Each of the companies has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to either accept them, contest them or request a meeting with an OSHA area director.