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OSHA cites US subsidiary of French cosmetics company for explosion and chemical hazards

14 December 2014

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a French company with facilities in New Jersey, along with two staffing agencies, over explosion and chemical hazards at its Mine Hill plant 20 miles west of Newark.

OSHA said in a news release that it is proposing $139,500 in total penalties for 28 citations against nail polish manufacturer Fiabila USA Inc., which has facilities in Mine Hill and Linden, as well as JobConnection Services Inc. of Dover and Joulé Clinical & Scientific Staffing Solutions.

Permanent and temporary workers at Fiabila’s Mine Hill site were exposed to fire, explosion and safety and health hazards related to flammable chemicals, OSHA said. The agency conducted an inspection in May 2014 after a complaint, and inspectors found flammable liquids stored in indoor tanks with one tank overflowing in July due to a disabled or broken safety mechanism.

Fiabila was cited for exposing the employees to the hazards, while the staffing firms were cited for failure to properly train temporary workers, OSHA said. Fiabila faces $109,500 in penalties for 23 violations, while JobConnection faces $18,000 in fines for three violations and Joulé faces $12,000 in penalties for two violations.

“Whether temporary or permanent, workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace,” Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office, said in a prepared statement. “Staffing agencies and host employers are joint employers of temporary workers. Both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions free of potentially fatal hazards.”

The companies had 15 business days from receipt of the citations to either accept them, contest them or request a meeting with the area director.

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