The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)has proposed fines for safety violations to Natural Flavors Inc., a Newark, New Jersey-based food flavor processing company, according to New Jersey On-Line. OSHA officials cited 12 total violations, including exposing employees to harmful chemicals. Proposed penalties against Natural Flavors total $60,400.
Workers were exposed to diacetyl, a chemical which is used in the food flavoring process at the facility. People exposed to diacetyl have been known to contract bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and permanent lung disease that is irreversible and in severe cases requires a lung transplant.
“As early as 2004, the flavoring manufacturing industry has been aware that its workers who are overexposed to diacetyl on the job have developed severe, life-threatening lung disease,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Robert Kulick. “It is outrageous that Natural Flavors would expose workers to this debilitating chemical without taking the necessary steps to properly assess exposure and protect its employees.”
Facilities that work with hazardous liquids or chemicals must regularly test the air quality to ensure that workers are not overly exposed. Please contact our office for a free consultation if you have been injured on the job and need assistance filing for workers comp.
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