(Editor's note: This report was updated at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday with comments from Aluminum Shapes LLC.)
A Camden County aluminum manufacturer has been cited for alleged safety and health violations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which described the action as the latest in a long string of issues with the company.
Aluminum Shapes LLC, based in Delair, faces proposed penalties of more than $1.9 million over 51 violations found in the latest inspection, in January. This marks the eighth inspection of the facility since 2011, OSHA said, resulting in 60 past citations and an assessment of more than $516,000 in penalties.
The latest inspection found that two employees had been hospitalized as a result of separate workplace incidents, including chemical burn injuries and a machinery-related broken pelvis.
“Despite its lengthy OSHA history, Aluminum Shapes still does not comply with federal safety and health standards,” Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s Marlton Area Office, said in a prepared statement. “These hazards leave workers vulnerable to the risk of serious injury and possible death.”
OSHA cited the company for, among other things, allegedly failing to: provide appropriate personal protective equipment, utilize proper lockout/tagout procedures, complete a required confined space entry permit, and more.
The company was also cited over repeat violations, allegedly including: fall hazards, electrical hazards and more.
“Aluminum Shapes’ extensive list of violations reflects a workplace that does not prioritize worker safety and health,” Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York, said in a statement. “The company can more effectively protect its workers by implementing a comprehensive safety and health management system.”
Aluminum Shapes had 15 days from receipt of the citations to accept the penalties, contest them or request a meeting with OSHA officials.
A company spokesperson issued a statement, saying the company has implemented a variety of safety measures, as well as criticizing the agency:
"Aluminum Shapes LLC takes the safety of its facility extremely seriously. Prior to OSHA's findings, and as part of our larger revitalization and modernization efforts, we began working to improve safety throughout our facility, tripling the number of safety professionals, hiring an OSHA specialist to help guide our compliance efforts and adding a widely respected safety professional to our management team. These improvements have made a significant, positive impact on our culture.
"We have been diligent in addressing the issues OSHA cited in past inspections. The vast majority of the issues raised in these past inspections were addressed before OSHA's latest visit. The investments we have made in the facility — from the millions of dollars we have put toward safety improvements to the new equipment that is safer and more efficient — are working.
"However, OSHA's new fee structure results in higher fine amounts and unfair media attention, even as conditions improve."