OSHA says Marietta Corp., a leading maker of soap and shampoo for hotels and retail sale exposed workers to chemical and fire hazards and blocked emergency exit routes for workers. The federal agency also cited and fined Select Staffing, which provided the manufacturer with temporary employees, for chemical-related hazards.
According to OSHA, the staffing agency did not provide workers exposed to dangerous chemicals with proper eye and face protection; lacked accessible data sheets for hazardous chemicals; and did not prove that a hazard assessment had been done to determine what protective equipment employees would need.
Marietta was hit with repeat and six serious violations and $103,800 in fines.
OSHA inspectors visited Marietta in Cortland, New York, after receiving complaints from workers there. Inspectors say they found flammable liquids were not being stored or used properly; employees with respirators were not trained or checked medically; and containers with hazardous chemicals were not labeled correctly.
Similar hazards were found at the Cortland plant in 2011 and at the company's Chicago facility in 2010. Inspectors also found workers without necessary eye and face protection as well as emergency eyewash stations; employees had not been trained in the use of dangerous chemicals; and forklift operators had not received refresher training.
“The fact that we found new and repeated hazards shows Marietta Corp. must take worker health and well-being more seriously,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse, N.Y. “Its employees are at risk of illness, injury or worse from dangerous chemicals, fire and an inability to escape in an emergency.”