Unadilla recycling company hit with proposed penalties

Federal inspectors have recommended more than $78,000 in fines for a recycling center in Unadilla because of potential employee dangers.

The center, Recycling Revolution, has exposed workers to amputation hazards, as well as possible dangers from fires and falls, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a news release.

The center was inspected this past November, and OSHA subsequently issued 14 repeat and 12 serious citations to the solid waste collection and processing company.

The violations included exposing workers to amputation hazards from machine parts, not establishing procedures to protect workers from accidental machine startup while performing maintenance and services, and failure to provide readily accessible fire extinguishers. Also, the employer was cited for not removing from service a forklift with missing safety equipment and exposing workers to fall hazards due to missing railings on stairs.

“Deadly falls, severe burns, crushed fingers or hands, and electric shock -- those are just some of the hazards employees at Recycling Revolution faced because of management’s disregard for worker safety,” Robert Vazzi, director of OSHA’s Savannah area office, said in the statement. “The company’s actions are not only disappointing but also dangerous, and they must take immediate action to address these hazards.”

A supervisor at the company said that Recycling Revolution officials were trying to reach OSHA representatives.

“We’re trying to work it out now,” said the man, who declined to give his name. “A lot of the stuff, I don’t agree with it. What they wrote up is not accurate. ... I don’t know where they come up with this stuff.”

Recycling Revolutions has been inspected by OSHA four times since 2012 and received 24 citations for workplace hazards.

Recycling Revolution has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.