OSHA Fines $199K for Workers Hurt in Demo Debris Recycling Device

January 14, 2016

OSHA has cited Peconic Recycling for one willful and 11 serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company's recycling facility in Cutchogue. Peconic collects and processes construction and demolition material on Long Island, New York.

On July 1, 2014 three employees cleaning screens inside a cylindrical screening device called a trommel were seriously injured when another employee unexpectedly restarted the machine. OSHA found that Peconic lacked specific written procedures to lock out* machines' power sources to prevent their unintended startup. The company also lacked a program to manage employees' work in confined spaces safely and failed to train employees to protect themselves against these hazards.

Peconic also put employees at risk of falls of more than 16 feet through uncovered or unguarded sorting bin openings on a conveyor belt. Additional hazards included lack of proper lock-out tools and procedures; no respiratory protection training; and failing to identify and label confined spaces.

"This incident and serious injuries suffered by three employees were preventable. The company knew programs needed to be in place to address and prevent these hazards, yet did not provide required and adequate safeguards," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's area director for Long Island. "For the well-being of its employees, Peconic Recycling & Transfer Co. must take prompt and effective corrective action to ensure that this never happens again."

Source: OSHA