US Labor Department's OSHA cites China Grove, Texas, bakery for
2nd time in 4 months for exposing workers to safety and health hazards
CHINA GROVE, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lone Star Bakery Inc. for 18 serious and three repeat safety and health violations at Plant 2 of the company's facility on U.S. Highway 87 East in China Grove. A Jan. 10 inspection conducted by OSHA's San Antonio Area Office found that the company failed to establish a program to manage highly hazardous chemicals covered by OSHA's process safety management standard. Proposed penalties total $199,600.
"This company repeatedly has jeopardized the safety of its employees," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in San Antonio. "Failure to ensure that highly hazardous chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia are managed through a robust process safety management program is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
Serious violations include failing to ensure that employees participate in a process safety management program, including the development of process hazard analyses; ensure piping and instrumentation diagrams are current and accurate; ensure that tanks containing anhydrous ammonia are properly protected by recognized and generally accepted engineering practices; ensure operating procedures are in place; and develop and implement standard operating procedures for emergency situations. 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.
Repeat violations include failing to resolve process hazard analysis recommendations in a timely manner, train employees on emergency shutdown procedures and the consequences of operating outside of normal operating parameters, and develop detailed procedures for employees responding to emergencies. 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.
OSHA cited the same company in 2006 for similar violations at Plant 2 of the China Grove facility with proposed penalties of $78,300. The company also was cited in April 2011 with proposed penalties of $229,400 following an amputation incident and multiple inspections at the two facilities.
Lone Star Bakery, which employs about 500 workers in China Grove, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in San Antonio or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's San Antonio office at 210-472-5040 or the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) to report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.