Pittsburgh chocolate manufacturer cited by US Labor Department's OSHA
for hazardous energy control, safety violations following employee accident
PITTSBURGH – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tsudis Chocolate Co. Inc. for 19 alleged safety violations at its Pittsburgh manufacturing facility. Proposed penalties total $87,260. OSHA opened its February inspection after an employee sustained crushing injuries to the right hand and wrist because a machine inadvertently activated while he set it up. The inspection was also conducted in accordance with OSHA's Emphasis Program on Amputations.
"Tsudis Chocolate could have prevented this unfortunate incident by having the proper hazardous energy controls in place," said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. "It is vital that the company abate these hazards as soon as possible to protect the safety of its workers."
Three repeat violations, with a penalty of $27,860, were cited for the company's failure to properly guard points of operation on machinery; provide appropriate electrical protective equipment when employees worked on energized electrical parts; and ensure that containers were labeled, tagged or marked with the identification of the hazardous chemicals. Similar violations were cited in 2011. 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.
Twelve serious violations, with a $59,400 penalty, were cited for failing to address electrical hazards; create energy control procedures for equipment; conduct a periodic inspection of the energy control procedures at least annually; and provide training to authorized employees on the recognition of applicable energy sources in the facility. Other violations included failing to provide adequate machine guarding on equipment and properly use or install listed or labeled electrical equipment.
Four other-than-serious violations were cited for the company's failure to identify lockout/tagout devices to prevent inadvertent machine start-ups, anchor machines in fixed locations, provide adequate access to electrical equipment and ensure electrical equipment was not located in wet/damp locations. An other-than-serious citation is issued when a violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The chocolate manufacturer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Pittsburgh, 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 area office in Pittsburgh at 412-395-4903
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.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 303-693-7838 or TTY 303-693-7755.