American Reclamation, Inc., a city-contracted trash collector in El Monte, California, is facing penalties for safety violations, according to the Pasadena Star-News. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the working conditions at a Los Angeles-based facility after workers complained to city council members.
OSHA cited American Reclamation with a total of 36 violations and approximately $40,000 in fines. Violations included failure to have safety plans for employees servicing machines and other violations related to lack of written plans.
“Our investigation confirmed a number of serious risks to workers in the recycling industry,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. “Workers need to be trained on the hazards they face, and employers should have adequate safety programs in place to prevent serious injuries and illnesses.”
American Reclamation representatives said they were disappointed by OSHA’s ruling and described most of its violations as “minor.”
“As we have said previously, we are very proud of our workplace safety record, and we believe that it stacks up favorably within the recycling industry,” American Reclamation said in a released statement. “We care about our workers, and our excellent safety record is just one example of that.”
American Reclamation will have 15 days to agree to pay the fines or request a hearing with OSHA.
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