OSHA and New York Recycler Reach Agreement on Hazardous Exposures
SYRACUSE, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and TOMRA NY Recycling LLC have reached a stipulated settlement agreement to improve workplace safety requiring the company to institute enhanced safety measures to prevent employee exposure to blood or other infectious materials.
The recycling company has agreed to ensure that its employees at risk of exposure to blood or other infectious materials at each of its New York facilities participate in a training program compliant with OSHA standards. In addition to fully correcting all safety and health violations, the company will revise its Exposure Control Plan and Exposure Determination at each of its four facilities. As part of the settlement agreement, TOMRA NY Recycling will provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment, make engineering controls available, and permit OSHA to conduct monitoring inspections at each of its facilities over the course of the agreement.
“This agreement will lead to long-term safety improvements for workers at all four of the company’s facilities,” said OSHA Area Director Christopher Adams. “By agreeing to such a robust corporate-wide settlement, TOMRA NY is taking a significant first step toward implementing corrective measures to better protect the safety and health of all their employees.”
Beginning in August 2016, OSHA’s Syracuse Area Office inspected two of TOMRA NY’s four recycling facilities in upstate New York. Inspectors found employees exposed to blood and other potentially infectious materials while manually separating recyclable bottles and cans from waste materials. Several employees were also stuck by potentially contaminated needles in the trash. OSHA also cited the company for failure to include employees in its Exposure Control Plan and Exposure Determination and for not adequately protecting them against exposure to hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus, and other potentially infectious diseases. The employer also failed to offer the hepatitis B vaccine to employees with exposure as a preventative measure. Under terms of the agreement, the company will pay $16,479 in penalties. Read more about the citations for inspection #1168140, and citations for inspection #1167327.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Syracuse Area Office at 315-451-0808.