Williamsburg Recycling Facility Fined $40,000 in Heat-Related Death of Employee

A Williamsburg industrial recycling facility got hit with a $40,500 fine by the federal government after a worker collapses and died of heat-related causes last July.

Cooper Tank Recycling, a transfer station on Maspeth Ave., was cited for 8 “serious health and safety” violations.

OSHA launched an investigation after Aldero Cosme, 64, died from heat illness on July 19, 2013. He had been working several hours on a conveyor line, sorting and recycling solid waste.

OSHA stated that “this was a needless and preventable loss of life. The employer failed to train workers and implement safeguards that could have protected them from excessive heat conditions.”

The agency found that workers at the facility were exposed to extreme heat from environmental sources, on top of heat generated by the company’s recycling machinery.

The company had failed to train workers on the prevention and treatment of heat-related illness and did not provide temperature controls in the workplace.

It was also discovered that workers were exposed to falls of 20 to 40 feet due to wall opening and missing guardrails. They were also exposed to electrocution hazards from an ungrounded electrical outlet and power cord.

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