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News

Jersey Shore Company Faces $13.7K OSHA Fine After Employed Couple's COVID Death, Agency Says

Avantor Fluid Handling's global headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania Photo Credit: Google Maps
Eatontown EMS Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/ Eatontown EMS
OSHA has issued this citation and proposed fine to Avantor Fluid Handling LLC for allegedly failing to protect workers at a research & production plant in Eatontown, NJ. Photo Credit: OSHA/ US Dept. of Labor

The US Department of Labor says it may fine a Central Jersey company up to $13,653 for coronavirus violations in its workplace.

On Tuesday, the labor department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration cited a pharmaceutical and, biotech manufacturer from Eatontown. 

The company failed to protect dozens of employees from COVID-19 at its  Monmouth County facility, OSHA said in a news statement.

A husband and his wife died after contracting the virus last fall,  OSHA said. 

At least two other workers were hospitalized and at least 30 workers tested positive for COVID, the federal agency said.

OSHA's inspection found that Avantor Fluid Handling LLC "failed to ensure physical distancing and that employees wore face masks in common areas."

The company's global headquarters are in Radnor, Pennsylvania, about 13 miles west of Philadelphia. It straddles Montgomery and Delaware counties, PA.

OSHA said the company violated federal rules that workers not get  exposed to any hazards that can  lead to death or serious physical injury.

Last November, four company employees tested positive for the coronavirus and required hospitalization, OSHA said.

At least 30 out of 50 employees at the facility tested positive for the coronavirus, OSHA said.

By January of this year, two of the workers – a married couple – died due to complications related to the virus, OSHA said.

Other Avantor Fluid Handling workers recovered, OSHA said.

OSHA alleges that Avantor Fluid failed to enforce safe distancing and mask wearing to prevent the virus from spreading in a locker room, changing and break rooms  

OSHA

COURTESY: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

“Two workers lost their lives and others were sickened because their employer failed to take the precautions necessary to keep them safe,” OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton, Burlington County.

Avantor has about two weeks after receiving the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with a regional OSHA director or contest the case before an independent OSHA review commission.

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