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NJ company where husband, wife died of COVID fined $ 13K

A manufacturer in Monmouth County, where two employees – a man and a wife – died of coronavirus and dozens of other employees were infected, has been fined more than $ 13,000 by the Department of Health and Safety for failing to protect its employees from COVID exposure. 19 workplace.

The agency on Thursday announced the results of its investigation into Eatontown-based biotechnology company Avantor Fluid Handling LLC, in which two people died and two were hospitalized due to the virus last fall, OSHA said in a press release. In total, 30 out of 50 employees at the facility tested positive for coronavirus, OSHA said.

“Two workers lost their lives and others became ill because their employer failed to take the necessary precautions to protect them,”

; said OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton. “Tragically, this case should remind all employers of the importance of fully implementing coronavirus prevention measures.”

Cases broke out at the Avantor Fluid Handling facility in November 2020, when the four employees tested positive for coronavirus, two of whom – a husband and a wife – died in January. An investigation was launched after the company warned OSHA about workers’ illnesses.

OSHA claims that Avantor failed to enforce safety protocols that would have prevented the spread of the virus at the facility, such as social distance and masking in common areas. The company faces $ 13,653 in proposed sanctions and has 15 days to either pay the fine, dispute the citation or request a conference with OSHA.

OSHA cited the company for violating the administration’s general duty clause, which requires employers to ensure that workplaces are free of recognized hazards that could cause death or serious physical injury.

Avantor Fluid Handling LLC manufactures equipment for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries at its Eatontown facility. Media representatives for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Avalon Zoppo can be reached at azoppo2@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo.

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