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Region 8 News Release: OSHA 03-03
Monday, Jan 27, 2003
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: (303) 844-1302
Agreement Reached to Guard Heavy-Duty Dough Mixers At 22 Stores
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The failure of a grocery store chain to fulfill an agreement to protect employees from hazards on their vertical dough mixers has resulted in citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) against Tidyman's Grocery stores in Montana. Proposed penalties total $100,000.
"Safety standards for guarding heavy machinery are designed to prevent accidents and loss of life," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The Tidyman stores have once again agreed to follow these standards. OSHA is going to verify that they live up to their word this time."
OSHA's area office in Billings issued one repeat violation to each of ten Montana Tidyman's stores as well as one serious violation and four other-than-serious violations. The citations resulted from an investigation that began July 25 after the area office received information that the company did not comply with a citation issued more than two years ago requiring guards on their vertical dough mixers.
The mixers range in size from 20 to 140 quart capacities and have dough hooks and other stirring devices that are powered by powerful electric motors. Commonly know as Hobart mixers, they are found in workplaces such as pizza parlors and bakeries. "These machines can seriously injure anyone who is caught by the dough hook," said David DiTommaso, OSHA area director in Billings.
Tidyman's is a Spokane-based chain generally known as County Markets throughout the state. OSHA cited the chain's store in Billings in November 2000 for failure to guard its mixers. In a settlement with OSHA, the company agreed to provide guards for the machines in each of its Montana stores by May 2002. When OSHA learned that only one store had guarded the mixers by that deadline, it inspected all 11 stores in the state and issued the fines.
"Tidyman's now has agreed to guard not only the mixers in their Montana stores but also those in their Idaho and Washington locations," said DiTommaso. The company also has agreed to correct the serious violation issued by unplugging the machines or de-energizing and locking out the devices whenever the guards have to be removed for cleaning or maintenance.
The agreement affects 22 Tidyman's stores in the three state area including three in Billings, two in Great Falls and one each in Sidney, Miles City, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena and Livingston.
A repeat violation occurs when a previously cited hazard is corrected but allowed to re-occur. A serious violation is one where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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