US Labor Department's OSHA fines Interstate Brands Corp. $274,500
for failing to train workers and protect them from safety hazards
SCHILLER PARK, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Schiller Park-based Interstate Brands Corp., a manufacturer of bakery products, with 20 alleged safety violations for failing to properly train workers who operate powered industrial trucks, and protect workers from electrical shock hazards and dangerous high-speed rotating equipment. Proposed penalties, from two OSHA inspections at the company's plant, total $274,500.
"Employers have a responsibility to train workers on the proper use of equipment and to protect them from workplace hazards," said Diane M. Turek, OSHA's area director in Des Plaines, Ill. "OSHA is committed to ensuring workers have a safe and healthy workplace, and failing to train, monitor and evaluate employees' skills puts workers at unnecessary risk."
IBC has been cited with three alleged willful violations for failing to properly lock out/tag out electrical equipment for maintenance and sanitation, ensure all persons operating powered industrial trucks were properly trained and evaluated, and ensure machinery guards were in place at points of operation. The violations carry proposed fines of $210,000. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The company also was cited with 17 serious violations including failing to keep all aisles and passageways in good repair and maintain proper exit routes, annually inspect energy control procedures, ensure all powered industrial trucks were examined for defects prior to the start or end of each work shift, ensure guards were in place on all equipment points of operation, provide employees with hardware to isolate and secure equipment from energy sources, and ensure fans less than 7 feet above work level were provided with guards. Proposed penalties are $64,500. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
The company 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 Des Plaines office at 847-803-4800. To report workplace injuries, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA'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 assure 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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