Region 2 News Release: NY 228
Monday, December 14, 1998
Contact: Chester J. Fultz (212)337-2319
NEW BERLIN, NEW YORK, DAIRY PRODUCTS PLANT CITED BY OSHA
FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $37,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Kraft Foods, Inc., of 669 County Route 25, New Berlin, New York, and proposed penalties of $37,000 against the firm for 16 alleged serious violations and three alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until December 31 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane M. Brayden, the action results from an investigation at the plant, which manufactures cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products, under an OSHA program to focus on companies whose injury and illness rates are at least two times the national average for their industry.
AThis interim targeting program replaces OSHA=s Cooperative Compliance Program, now under a stay, which would have offered a choice of partnership or traditional enforcement to companies with these above-average injury and illness rates,@ Brayden said.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
failure to provide guarding around hatch openings of tanks;
failure to provide adequate fall protection on platforms;
failure to provide adequate access to landing platforms;
failure to provide adequate cabinets for storage of flammable liquids;
failure to properly ground flammable solvent containers with an electrical interconnect when dispensing contents;
failure to provide personal protective equipment and training in its use;
failure to conduct air monitoring of hazardous confined spaces;
failure to provide adequate guarding on machinery;
failure to correctly ground electrical equipment, cover live electrical parts, and enclose electrical equipment in wet locations.
Alleged other-than-serious violations for which the plant was cited included failure to post floor load ratings, ensure that unattended forklift trucks had their forks in the lowered position, and failure to identify contents of chemical containers.
A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse area office, located at 3300 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York, telephone (315) 451-0808.
This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.
Voice phone: (212) 337-2319;
TDD phone: 800-347-8029;
OASAM TDD message referral phone number: 800-326-2577.