A city company where four employees lost consciousness due to carbon monoxide exposure has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and fined $51,100.
Purrfect Enterprises Inc., whose offices are located at 262 Clinton Street, received 22 serious violations and 1 other-than-serious violation on May 23, 2016, according to OSHA. A serious violation is defined as a workplace hazard that could cause death or serious physical harm. An other-than-serious violation is “not serious in nature.”
OSHA cited the company for overexposure of employees to carbon monoxide, failure to establish a safety program to protect workers from unexpected machine startups, machines without safety guards in place, electrical hazards, obstructed exits, lack of personal protective equipment, lack of an emergency action plan, and deficient hazard communication program.
“The depth and range of hazards found at this facility reflect a breakdown in the company’s safety and health system. It’s important for this employer to correct the hazards and remove its workers from harm’s way,” Lisa Levy, director of OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office, said on Tuesday afternoon.
The U.S. Department of Labor opened its inspection of the company’s facility on December 28, 2015 after four employees lost consciousness and were hospitalized. The Paterson Fire Department reported the release of carbon monoxide from the chimney of the facility caused four employees to lose consciousness late last year.
“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and toxic gas which interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. It can overcome a person without warning,” Levy said. “While most people are aware of its dangers in a residential setting, it can be equally lethal in the workplace.”
The 23 violations resulted in a $51,100 penalty for Purrfect Enterprises also known as Purrfect Laundry. The company corrected some of the violations during the inspection of its facility, but others must be abated before July 11, 2016.