Judge orders All-Feed Processing & Packaging in Alpha, Ill., to allow
US Labor Department's OSHA to conduct inspection or pay fines of $500 a day
PEORIA, Ill. – On Aug. 12, Magistrate Judge John Gorman of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois has ordered All-Feed Processing & Packaging Inc., headquartered in Alpha, to allow the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to inspect its facilities during normal working conditions or face significant fines.
After finding the company in contempt for failing to allow OSHA to inspect its pet food research and packaging facility in Galva, the judge imposed a daily fine of $500 that began on May 4. The fines against the company will be purged once OSHA is allowed to conduct full-shift monitoring of employees' exposure to dust and noise under normal plant operating conditions without interference. In any event, the company is responsible for paying court costs and attorney fees.
"All-Feed Processing & Packaging's continuous failure to allow proper OSHA inspections, along with its history of severe violations, has led us to seek court intervention to ensure that its manufacturing facilities are safe for workers," said agency Regional Administrator Michael Connors in Chicago. "Employers have a responsibility to provide appropriate equipment and training to protect workers from respiratory hazards, and to ensure work environments are healthful and safe."
Following a January inspection, OSHA's Peoria Area Office cited the company for four willful and one serious health violation for repeatedly failing to provide respirators and monitor workers' exposure to dust at the Galva facility. Those violations qualified the company for placement in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which is intended to focus enforcement resources on employers with a history of safety violations that endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law. This tool includes mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections and inspections of other work sites of the same employer where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present.
All Feed Processing & Packaging has been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 2000, resulting in a significant enforcement action on five occasions. Those citations encompassed a total of 43 serious, 19 willful, five repeat and 10 other-than-serious violations, many of which related to failing to monitor and limit employees' exposure to hazardous dust.
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.
Solis vs. All Feed Processing & Packaging Inc.
Civil Action Number: 11-MC-01054-JBM-JAG
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.