- Long Island, NY-based Peconic Recycling & Transfer Corp. faces $119,000 in fines from the Operational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after three workers were seriously injured when the power went out at the company’s recycling facility in Cutchogue.
- OSHA also cited Peconic for other violations including, but not limited to: failure to have written procedures to lock out machines’ power sources so they do not start when they shouldn’t; failure to manage employees’ work in confined spaces safely and to train them to avoid injury; placing employees at risk for falls through uncovered sorting bin openings on a conveyor belt; and not providing respiratory protection training, among other illegal practices.
- Peconic has 15 business days from issuance of the citations to resolve the issues, meet with OSHA’s area director, or defend itself before the independent OSHA’s Review Commission.
The ruling comes at a time when injury among waste industry employees is on the rise and prevention is center focus.
Commenting this October on a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, SWANA CEO David Biderman said, "The increase in the injury rate for collection employees to levels not seen since 2008 is alarming. And the high injury rate for employees at recycling facilities remains a concern … despite the increased attention being paid to safety by some employers."
But Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's area director for Long Island, asserted that the serious injuries of the employees at Peconic 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," he said. "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."