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OSHA fines fashion accessory firm $47,000 for safety violations


A New York-based fashion accessories manufacturing company is facing proposed fines of more than $47,000 for allegedly violating federal safety regulations, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

A February inspection prompted by a complaint alleging unsafe workplace conditions at Natasha Accessories Ltd.'s Manhattan warehouse allegedly uncovered eight serious violations and three repeat violations, OSHA said in a statement Wednesday. They included blocked exits, propped-open fire doors and obstructed sprinkler heads, according to the statement.

OSHA said it also found violations of safety regulations that were similar to those cited during an inspection of another Natasha Accessories location in 2011, including a lack of directional emergency exit signs and unilluminated exit signs that could prevent employees from exiting in an efficient manner during an emergency.

Between the alleged serious and repeat violations, the company is facing a total of $47,600 in proposed fines, according to the statement.

“Worker safety is paramount,” Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, said in the statement. “Blocked exits, missing or unlit exit signs and obstructed sprinkler heads are serious, even potentially deadly hazards. During an emergency, such as a fire, a clear and well-labeled exit route could mean the difference between life and death for employees.”

The company has 15 business days from the time it was notified of citations and proposed fines to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to the statement.

A Natasha Accessories representative could not be reached for comment.