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Region 2 News Release: 08-744-NEW (osha 08-081)
June 3, 2008
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102


U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites North East Linen for multiple workplace safety and health violations after double fatality

LINDEN, N.J. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited North East Linen for multiple alleged safety and health violations after a double fatality at the company's Linden facility.

OSHA initiated its investigation on Dec. 1, 2007, following the fatal accident. Two employees, who were cleaning a waste water tank, were discovered at the bottom of the tank, which was oxygen-deficient and contained hazardous chemicals. The investigation resulted in one willful, 12 serious and two other-than-serious violations.

"North East Linen did not take the appropriate steps to train its employees about potential hazards and to ensure its employees did not enter the waste water tank, which led to this tragedy," says Robert D. Kulick, director of OSHA's Avenel, N.J., area office.

The company was cited for a willful violation for failing to provide hazard communication training. The serious citations include North East Linen's failure to provide adequate means of egress; to take effective measures to prevent employees from entering the waste water tank; to lock out, or prevent accidental start-up of, equipment; to determine the presence and quantity of asbestos-containing material and not labeling the material; to close unused openings on an electrical panel; and to provide other