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Medical supply manufacturer faces fines for health and safety hazards

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A New Jersey medical supply firm is facing $181,500 in potential penalties after federal inspectors found more than 20 health and safety hazards at its manufacturing facility.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Burlington, New Jersey-based United Hospital Supply Corp. last week after a May inspection initiated as part of the agency’s site-specific targeting program for industries with high injury and illness rates, OSHA said Monday in a statement. An additional inspection took place in June following a referral to address hazards involving noise, hazard communication and respiratory protection, according to the agency.

Inspectors found that welding stations were not enclosed with noncombustible screens, and workers were exposed to hazardous ultraviolet light during welding operations, resulting in one willful citation, according to the agency.

Citations were also issued for nine serious violations, including failing to ensure employees used proper eye and face protection when exposed to chemical or acidic hazards, improper storage of respirators and unguarded machinery, according to the citations.

Inspectors also cited the company for 10 repeated violations, including improper use or installation of electrical equipment, infrequent inspection of cranes and failure to require the use of appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands were exposed to hazards, according to the citations.

“The willful and repeat violations cited during these latest inspections were identified in 2010 at United Health Supply Corp.’s facility,” Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA’s area director in Marlton, New Jersey, said in a statement. “In the last five years, the company has shown plain indifference by not implementing or maintaining corrective actions to address these hazards. Employers will be held legally responsible when they fail to provide a safe and healthful workplace.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.