Terrell's Potato Chip Co. Inc. faces $115,500 in US Labor Department OSHA
fines for new, recurring safety hazards at Syracuse, NY, manufacturing plant
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Terrell's Potato Chip Co. Inc. for 23 violations of workplace safety standards at its 218 Midler Park Drive manufacturing plant in Syracuse. The potato chip manufacturer faces $115,500 in fines following an inspection by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office opened June 27 as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting program.
"The sizable fines proposed here are the result of finding new and recurring hazards, such as exposing workers to amputations, fire and obstructed emergency exits, which could lead to serious injury," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's Syracuse area director. "It's not enough to correct hazards. For the safety and well-being of its workers, an employer also must take effective steps to ensure that hazards, once corrected, don't reappear."
The inspection identified several hazards similar to those cited during a 2009 OSHA inspection. The employer failed to ensure guarding on the operating parts of machinery, including a fryer, a peeler and packaging equipment; train workers on the unintended startup of machinery; secure stacked materials from collapsing or sliding; remove damaged electrical parts from service; and keep work areas clean and orderly. These conditions resulted in the company being cited for nine repeat violations, carrying $70,840 in proposed fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any of its facilities in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Additional hazards include a locked exit door; blocked exit access; exit lighting not working properly; missing guardrails; fire extinguishers not fully charged; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; an unsecured liquefied petroleum gas container; and several electrical hazards. These led to citations for 14 serious violations with $44,660 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/TerrellsPotatoChipsCo_915128_12_20_2013.pdf.*
Terrell's Potato Chip Co. Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its latest citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Syracuse Area Office at 315-451-0808.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.