US Labor Department's OSHA cites All Feed Processing and Packing in
Galva, Ill., for failing to provide respirator protection; fines exceed $167,000
GALVA, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited All Feed Processing and Packing Inc. with five health, including four willful, violations, for repeatedly failing to provide respirators to workers and monitor their exposure to respirable dust at its Galva pet food research and packaging facility. The company faces $167,090 in proposed fines following an investigation in January.
"All Feed is well aware of OSHA's health regulations but has irresponsibly ignored them and put its employees in harm's way," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure work environments are healthful and safe, which includes providing appropriate equipment and training to protect workers from respiratory hazards."
Four willful violations, with proposed fines of $161,700, were cited for two instances of allegedly failing to provide a respirator to protect workers exposed to total dust in the production facility; exposing workers to total dust at concentrations in excess of the permissible exposure limits; and failing to implement adequate engineering controls when employees performing work activities were exposed to total dust. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
One serious violation, with a proposed fine of $5,390, was cited for failing to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards in the workplace and make a reasonable estimate of employees' exposure to respiratory hazards. 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.
Prior to this inspection, All Feed Processing and Packaging had been inspected by OSHA nine times since 2000, resulting in a significant enforcement action on four occasions. The nine inspections led to citations for 42 serious, 15 willful, five repeat and 10 other-than-serious violations, many of which related to failing to monitor and limit employees' exposure to hazardous dust.
OSHA has placed All Feed Processing and Packaging in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in June 2010, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. All Feed Processing and Packaging was placed in the program due to its previous violations as well as the egregious violations cited in the January inspection. A violation is deemed egregious when a company is cited for instance-by-instance violations of the same standard, such as failing to provide respirators. For more information, visit /pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4503*.
All Feed Processing and Packaging, which is headquartered in Alpha, 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Peoria Area Office at 309-589-7033. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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, audio tape or disc 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.