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Region 1 News Release: 12-16-BOS/BOS 2012-008
Jan. 11, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $70,000 in fines against Everett,
Mass., recycling company after workers injured by rotating equipment

ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Prolerized New England Co. LLC, doing business as Schnitzer Northeast, for 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Everett recycling facility, where two workers were injured. Proposed penalties total $70,000.

The employees were performing maintenance work inside a large rotating drum used to sort scrap material for recycling when the drum activated, injuring them. OSHA's Andover Area Office conducted an inspection in response to the September incident and identified several serious deficiencies in the facility's hazardous energy control procedures, which should ensure machines are deactivated and their power sources locked out before employees perform maintenance work. In this case, the procedures were incomplete and not clearly communicated, training was inadequate, and the procedures were not reviewed to ensure that they were effective and understood by the employees.

The inspection also found that the employees were not trained to work in confined spaces, such as the drum, and were not provided a hot work permit for welding performed in the drum. Finally, the employees were exposed to the hazard of falling into the drum through an unguarded chute opening. OSHA assessed the maximum fine of $7,000 for each of the violations, for a total of $70,000 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or s