Middleton Foundry Cited with 14 OSHA Violations - Worksite Medical
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On Sept. 9, OSHA proposed $303K in penalties after a foundry in Middleton, N.J. willfully exposed employees to workplace hazards.

On March 9, in response to a filed complaint, the administration inspected the foundry, which led to the discovery of several safety and health hazards.

In all, OSHA cited the company for 14 violations with proposed penalties of $303,106.

The breakdown of the violations includes: 

  • 10 serious violations,
  • 2 willful violations, and 
  • 2 other-than serious violations.


Related article: Forewarned: the Six Types of OSHA Violations

Among the “serious violations,” inspectors determined that the company had not implemented a written respiratory protection program.

“The violations we identified exposed employees to serious risks of injury or worse,” OSHA’s Area Director in Marlton, N.J. Paula Dixon-Roderick said.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace. This company must immediately address the hazards our inspectors found and take actions to prevent workers from suffering harm needlessly.”

OSHA inspector at a job site - guidelines for occupational asthma

Why do you need a respiratory protection program?


Well, first and foremost, OSHA requires it with the respiratory protection standard – Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.

Last year, there were 2,527 respiratory protection violations, making the respiratory protection standard the second most cited violation for FY21. As citations increase, so, too, do fines, as the Middleton foundry came to realize.

While avoiding citations is ideal, it’s not the most important factor. You also need to keep your team safe in their working environment, and ensure that they’re properly educated when it comes to workplace dangers.

To do that, you need to evaluate workplace contaminants before beginning a respiratory protection program. Airborne contaminants can present a significant threat to the safety and health of workers. Air contaminants could take the form of harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, sprays and vapors. Air monitoring is used to identify and quantify airborne contaminants to determine the level of worker protection needed on site. 


Top five respiratory protection violations from 2021


Respirators are personal protective equipment (PPE), designed to protect workers against low oxygen environments, harmful dust particles, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, microbes in the air, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death, which is why OSHA requires employers to fit test respirators, train employees on respiratory protection, and to gain medical clearance prior to respirator use.

So, it’s essential to protect both your team and your company by establishing, and following, a written respiratory program.


Next steps


For the New Jersey foundry, the next steps involve either contesting or accepting the findings.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If you want to know how OSHA inspects a workplace or what to do if you’ve been cited, just click the related article link below for a breakdown.


Related article: Breaking Down the On-Site OSHA Inspection Process


As for you, you’ll want to make sure you don’t suffer the same fate. How strong is your respiratory program? Is it written out and clearly understood by your team? Are you completing respirator fit tests for new hires and annually thereafter? Are your employees also medically cleared to wear respirators in the first place?


Related article: Reminder – Respirator Fit Testing is Required Every Year


If you’re not sure, or you need some guidance, we’re here to help. At Worksite Medical, we bring the entire clinic right to your job-site, including on-site respirator fit testing and audio exams. We also offer online respirator medical clearances so your team can complete them at their convenience.

We’ll work around your schedule and make it easy to keep your team in compliance, and your workplace more productive. To get started, just complete the form below or call us at 1-844-OCCUMED. Let’s ensure that your company’s name stays out of the headlines next time OSHA publishes them.



About Worksite Medical

In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.

We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as audiometric exams, pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.