Blocked exits, electrical hazards found after worker electrocuted at distribution warehouse in Dayton, N.J.

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Employer name and location: Seldat Distribution Inc., 15 Thatcher Road, Dayton, New Jersey.

Date investigation initiated: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an investigation on Sept. 11, 2014, in response to a referral from the South Brunswick Fire Marshall reporting that an employee was electrocuted by an improperly wired, powered conveyer system.

Investigation findings: OSHA cited Seldat Distribution Inc. for 10 alleged serious violations, including electrical hazards involving:

  • Improper installation and use of listed equipment,
  • Wiring not protected from abrasions,
  • Not closing unused openings in electrical panels,
  • Using flexible cords and cables in lieu of fixed wiring, and
  • No strain relief for cords and cables

Additionally, OSHA inspectors identified inappropriately narrow, blocked exit routes; obstructed aisles and passageways; unmounted fire extinguishers whose locations were not properly marked; and unstable storage of materials and products. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

'Electrical hazards are one of the most common issues impacting workers, and the dangers involved are hardly a secret to employers. This was a preventable tragedy,' said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. 'For the safety and well-being of their employees, Seldat Distribution must supply and ensure the use of proper safeguards and safety exits at its distribution warehouse.'

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Proposed penalties: $63,000

View the citation: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SeldatDistribution_994895_0302_15.pdf*

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