The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Exel Inc. for nine — including six willful — workplace safety and health violations at the Eastern Distribution Center III, a facility in Palmyra owned by the Hershey Co. and operated by Exel. Proposed penalties total $283,000. OSHA also has cited the SHS Group LP, doing business as SHS Staffing Solutions, for one violation with a proposed penalty of $5,000.
The agency’s inspection was conducted in response to a complaint filed by the National Guestworker Alliance on behalf of a group of foreign students who were performing summer jobs at the Palmyra facility under the U.S. Department of State’s J-1 visa program. The complaint alleges a number of abuses of the visa program, which is designed to promote cultural exchange, as well as exploitative and unsafe conditions in the workplace.
Under a contract with Exel, SHS Staffing Solutions hired the students to work at the Palmyra site repackaging Hershey candies for promotional displays. Exel is a contract logistics provider headquartered in Ohio.
For more information on the violations, read a press release by clicking here.