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A Montclair perfume and cosmetics factory has come under fire recently for workplace safety issues as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has released a report finding that the factory presents serious health and safety issues, including explosion hazards. OSHA's investigation, which took place from January through July 2015, found that the company Contract Filling, Inc. routinely incorporates the use of 14,000 gallons of flammable liquids in its manufacturing process without providing proper safeguards, and proposed approximately $50,000 in fines against the company.

OSHA violations mentioned in the July 2015 OSHA report include the following:

  • Failure to provide safe limits for the "flow" of processes involving denatured alcohol, a flammable liquid
  • Failure to provide proper guidelines for the transfer of flammable liquids
  • Failure to proper hazard analyses to risks associated with flammable liquids
  • Failure to provide proper emergency shut down procedures
  • Failure to train employees in the handling of flammable liquids
  • Failure to establish procedures to maintain the integrity of work equipment associated with flammable liquids

OSHA ultimately found that the risks associated with the findings in its report exposed workers at the Essex County factory to fatal fires, and that the company must reduce the potentially life-threatening conditions at the factory.

While OSHA did not report any injuries associated with the working conditions at the Contract Filling factory, workplace safety is a serious issue in the United States, especially with regard to the risk of fire and explosions. In 2013, there were 4,405 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that number, 148 of those deaths were the result of fire or explosions, or about 3% of total fatalities. That is a 21% increase in deaths from fire or explosion over 2012. Other major causes of death at the workplace include roadway incidents (22%), other transportation incidents (17%), falls, slips, and trips (16%), contact with objects and equipment (16%), and homicides (9%).

When a worker is injured on the job, he or she may be entitled to workers' compensation. If a worker dies on the job or from injuries received while on the job, certain surviving individuals may be entitled to financial compensation as well as funeral costs. This can include 70% of the weekly wage which would have been paid to the deceased worker, and which will be made available to a surviving spouse and dependents.

The attorneys at Smith & Doran are experienced in making sure the family members of deceased workers receive what they are entitled to under New Jersey's workers' compensation laws. If you have been injured on the job or are the family member of a person who has been injured or has died on the job, please contact Smith & Doran for a free consultation regarding your claim.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
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Morristown, NJ 07960

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