Region 3 News Release: USDL: III-00-03-23-023-DE
Mon., Mar. 27, 2000
Contact: Leni Uddyback
PHONE: OFFICE: (215) 861-5102
OSHA CITES CLAYTON, DE PLANT FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; PROPOSES MORE THAN $297,000 IN PENALTIES
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Hanover Foods Corporation's Clayton, Del. plant for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, proposing $297,500 in penalties. Hanover Foods Corporation is a vegetable processor and frozen food manufacturer headquartered in Hanover, Pa.
OSHA initiated an investigation under its inspection scheduling system for industries with high injury rates. According to Lacy Sutton, area director Wilmington OSHA office, the investigation yielded citations for four willful violations, with a proposed penalty of $280,000; and seven serious violations, with a proposed penalty of $17,500.
The willful violations include the company's failure to implement a Mechanical Integrity program and Management of Change procedures when operating procedures were modified; failure to implement a program designed to protect workers required to enter a permit-confined space-where a potential for a hazardous atmosphere exists; and failure to implement the company's lockout/tagout program, which is designed to reduce the chance of an unexpected ammonia release.
The serious violations address the company's failure to properly guard a pit and an unguarded elevated walkway; failure to hold and document required training, failure to perform incident investigations and periodic reviews of the program, failure to conduct fit testing for an employee required to wear a respirator, and failure to include procedures for routine usage in the written respirator program.
"Each of these violations could have jeopardized the safety and health of workers at the plant," says Sutton, "It's critical that all potential hazards be eliminated immediately."
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
A serious violation involves a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm
could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The firm has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to decide to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the Wilmington area office, 1 Rodney Square, Suite 402, 920 King Street, Wilmington, De. 19801-3319. Telephone: (302) 573-6115.
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