Funeral Industry News

OSHA Fines Dodge Embalming Fluid Co. $138K

October 16, 2009

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OSHA Fines Dodge Embalming Fluid Co. $138K

Cambridge, MA – An embalming fluid manufacturer on Cambridge Park Drive has been fined $138,000 after allegedly violating 41 workplace safety and health standards.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor?s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, The Dodge Co. Inc ? located at 165 Cambridge Park Drive ? was cited with numerous hazards such as failure to maintain clean work floors, operating unapproved forklifts where flammables are used, and providing inadequate safeguards in storing formaldehyde to which some workers were overexposed.

?Workers? exposure to excess formaldehyde levels can impact their health, while the other conditions cited here pose more acute safety levels,? said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA?s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties, in a press release. ?All of these hazards must be effectively corrected for the safety and health of the plant?s workers.?

The Dodge Co. President Debbie Dodge said she does not agree with some of the citations issued, and said the company was surprised by OSHA?s visit last spring.

?We have been in the business 116 years and have never had a single serious accident involving personnel or operations,? she said. ?We?re proud of our safety records.?

In their release, OSHA noted that the plant lacked a process safety management program to address any hazards associated in using large amount of formaldehyde. The agency also identified deficiencies in the plant?s respiratory protection, emergency response, hazardous energy control, chemical hygiene and communication programs, as well as electrical hazards, and untrained forklift operators.

The Dodge Co. now faces 38 serious citations for these hazards plus four citations for incomplete and inadequate recordkeeping.

?OSHA issued serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known,? the press release read.

The Dodge Co. has 15 business days after receiving their citation to comply or contest the findings before an independent OSHA review commission.

Dodge said they are in the process of working with OSHA to discuss the proposed fines.

Source: Cambridge Chronicle