A manufacturer in Monmouth County, in which two employees – a husband and wife – died of coronavirus and dozens of other employees became infected, was fined more than $ 13,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for failing to protect exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
The agency announced on Thursday the findings of its investigation into the Easttown-based biotechnology company Avantor Fluid Handling LLC, where two people died and two were hospitalized by the virus last fall, OSHA said in a news release. A total of 30 of the facility̵
“Two workers lost their lives and others fell ill because their employer did not take the necessary precautions to keep them safe,” said OSHA Zone Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton. “It is tragic that this case should remind all employers of the importance of fully implementing coronavirus prevention measures.”
The cases erupted at the Avantor fluid treatment plant in November 2020, when four employees tested positive for coronavirus, two of whom – a husband and wife – died in January. An investigation was launched after the company alerted OSHA to workers’ illnesses.
OSHA claims that Avantor failed to implement safety protocols that would prevent the spread of the virus in the facility, such as social distancing and wearing masks in common areas. The company faces $ 13,653 in proposed sanctions and has 15 days to pay the fine, challenge the quote or request a conference with OSHA.
OSHA cites the company for violating a general administration clause that requires employers to ensure that there are no recognized hazards in the workplace that could cause death or serious physical injury.
Avantor Fluid Handling LLC manufactures equipment for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry at its Eatontown facility. Media representatives for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Our journalism needs your support. please subscribe today to NJ.com.
Avalon Zoppo can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo.