Region 5 News Release: 09-1413-CHI
Dec. 1, 2009
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
US Labor Department's OSHA fines Endres Processing LLC and Endres Processing Ohio LLC $472,900 for safety and health violations
UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Endres Processing LLC, headquartered in Rosemount, Minn., and its subsidiary, Endres Processing Ohio LLC, with safety and health violations that include exposing workers to combustible dust hazards. The firm manufactures an animal feed supplement from unsold bakery products. Proposed fines total $472,900.
OSHA began a health inspection in June after receiving information that fires had occurred in the Ohio plant, and that large amounts of dust from the manufacturing process had accumulated throughout the worksite.
"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will not tolerate the exposure of workers to preventable hazardous conditions," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "The destructive and violent power of dust explosions is clear, and employers have an obligation to keep workers safe."
Following the health inspection, OSHA issued four willful violations with penalties totaling $252,000 and five serious violations with penalties totaling $14,900. The willful violations allege the lack of explosion protection, the failure to equip process equipment with combustible dust collection systems, hazardous accumulations of dust, and the use of electrical equipment that was unsafe to use in areas with combustible dust accumulation. The serious violations address hazards from workers breathing the dust, allowing combustible materials in areas where workers were welding, and unsafe electrical equipment and practices. The proposed health violation fines total $266,900.
A safety inspection was also initiated, and OSHA issued two willful violations with penalties totaling $126,000 and 21 serious violations with penalties totaling $80,000 following that inspection. The willful violations allege confined space hazards and failing to train employees in using the fire fighting system. The serious violations allege a variety of hazards. They include fall hazards, problems with emergency exit lighting, failure to train on and exposure to hazardous machine-energy sources, and additional unsafe electrical equipment and practices. The proposed safety violation fines total $206,000.
A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result if an accident were to occur from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
The Upper Sandusky site, then owned by Advanced Organics Inc., has been inspected twice since 2004, with serious citations issued for fall protection, combustible dust issues, electrical hazards, machine guarding and fall hazards following the earlier inspections.
The safety and health fines total $472,900 and the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards; and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.