Dec. 16, 2014
OSHA cites Budweiser distribution center for serious safety violations
OSHA proposes $162,500 penalty for Anheuser-Busch Sales of New Jersey
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – A distribution warehouse for beverage manufacturer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, makers of Budweiser, Bud Light and Corona beer, willfully put workers at risk of serious injury. Doing business as Anheuser-Busch Sales of New Jersey, the company exposed permanent and temporary workers to hazards that involved powered industrial trucks and other dangers at its Jersey City facility, an investigation on June 4, 2014, by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found. Penalties totaled $162,500.
Initiated as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program* that directs enforcement resources to workplaces with the highest injury and illness rates, the OSHA investigation found two willful and eight serious violations.
"These employees faced the risk of serious injuries due to Anheuser-Busch's failure to provide appropriate training, properly working equipment, and safe exit routes, which is unacceptable," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "This company is fully aware of the safety hazards in its Jersey City facility and should immediately take corrective action."
OSHA investigators determined that powered industrial truck operators were not trained by Anheuser-Busch, and defective trucks were not removed from service. These willful violations have a $121,000 penalty. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to the law.
The Anheuser-Busch warehouse also had obstructed exit routes, damaged storage racks and additional powered industrial truck hazards. The company also failed to provide both chemical hazard communication and powered industrial truck training. These violations carry a $41,500 penalty. 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.
View the citations at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Anheuser-Busch_978459_1203_14.pdf*
Anheuser-Busch has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference 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 Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.
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.
Release Number: 14-2216-NEW (osha 14-101)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.