This week, NJ-based aluminum manufacturing company, Aluminum Shapes laid off 61 employees as a direct result of the $1,922,895 fine issued by OSHA.
It was the second largest OSHA fine in nearly two years, and resulted from an inspection in January 2017 that found instances of employees told to return to work with chemical burns as well as an employee who suffered a broken pelvis.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said, “The size of OSHA’s fine as it stands today has forced the Company to take these extreme measures.
The 61 employees includes 51 of the company's 367 unionized employees, as well as 10 office workers, four of which were managers. Aluminum Shapes had added 104 new jobs since January 2015, and the decision this week will undo much of that growth.
Aluminum Shapes is the process of challenging the citations and fine. Specific details regarding the challenges are currently unavailable as neither the informal nor the formal meeting between OSHA and the company has been conducted.
The spokesperson said, "We continue to be heavily committed to the safety of our facility, and we take the citations extremely seriously. We’ll be looking closely at them and taking action where appropriate."
The company has no plans for additional layoffs, and wants to return to growth as soon as possible.
This is IEN Now with David Mantey.