US Labor Department's OSHA fines Allentown, Pa., soft drink company
nearly $130,000 for repeat workplace safety and health hazards
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A-Treat Bottling Co. with 16 safety and health violations, including 14 repeat, at its Allentown facility. OSHA's August 2012 inspection was conducted as a follow-up from an earlier inspection in January 2011. Proposed fines total $129,745.
The repeat violations, with a penalty of $125,895, are due to electrical hazards, failing to conduct baseline and annual audiograms; establish noise engineering controls; provide noise training; provide machine guarding, machine-specific hazardous energy control procedures and training; ensure means of egress was unobstructed; and ensure proper use of flexible cable. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at the Allentown facility in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
One serious violation, carrying a $3,850 fine, involved improper material storage in an electrical service room. 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.
"By continuing to disregard OSHA standards, A-Treat Bottling continues to put its workers at risk of serious injuries," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "OSHA will not tolerate employers jeopardizing the safety and health of workers."
One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was cited for a defective forklift on a powered industrial truck. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/A-TreatBottlingCo_558321_0131_13.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/A-TreatBottlingCo_644998_0131_13.pdf*
A-Treat Bottling Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Allentown office at 267-429-7542.
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 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.