NuCentury Knocks Down OSHA Fine

Posted December 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

NuCentury Textile Services LLC, Toledo, OH, recently was cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration following an Aug. 30 incident involving one of the company’s maintenance employees, according to news reports.

The Toledo Blade reported that NuCentury was cited for failure to ensure employees doing maintenance atop an industrial washing machine used fall protection and failure to ensure that the machine was locked out while employees were doing maintenance. OSHA initially proposed a fine of $42,260, according to the article.

Jim Pacitti, owner and president of NuCentury, said that two maintenance department employees were troubleshooting a washing machine for a brake problem when the incident happened. One employee was working at the top of the washer, while another was at the base of the machine. “The individual that had part of his fingers amputated didn’t communicate with his co-worker stationed on the bottom of the machine, and for some reason grabbed the belt,” Pacitti said. “He wasn’t sure why he did it, because we asked him 100 times.”

For the past five years, NuCentury has used a consultant to oversee the company’s safety program, educate their employees on safety and keep in compliance from a safety standpoint with OSHA, according to Pacitti. “They’ve done a great job,” Pacitti said, referring to the safety consultants. “We were coming upon our 60th month of being clean with OSHA, and then this unfortunate accident happened. So I met with OSHA and they reduced the fine down to $16,000 and got rid of a citation where they said we didn’t report the incident, because we did report it. They also modified some of the other citations because we had documentation to show that we had lockout/tagout procedures, and we do all the things that are supposed to be right.”

Pacitti said that the company takes workplace safety very seriously. “We’re diligent, we’re religious about safety,” he said. “I’ve learned in all my years in this business that sometimes people will make mistakes no matter what you teach them.”

Pacitti noted that the injured employee has recovered and is back on the job. “The important thing is the injured employee returned to work after about six weeks to full-time duty, and we just hope and pray he never makes another mistake like that,” he said. “He’s been with me for a long time. That’s the good part of the story. He’s back working and part of our company.”

TRSA holds a yearly Safety Summit to help all companies involved in textile services learn the latest techniques for running their operations safely. The sixth annual Safety Summit will take place on April 19, 2017, in Chicago. Beyond the Summit, TRSA offers a wealth of educational materials on safety and OSHA compliance. Click on the links below for more information or to order these publications: