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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-03-182
Tues., Sept. 9, 2003
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214)767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
For Safety and Health Violations
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A Hessmer employer's alleged failure to protect employees from a wide range of hazards has resulted in citations for 49 alleged violations of safety and health standards from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Proposed penalties total $121,050.
Allen Canning Co. in Hessmer, La., was cited for the alleged violations following an inspection that began March 13, 2003, under a program called Site Specific Targeting, in which OSHA targets workplaces with high injury and illness rates.
The company cans and distributes vegetables at the Hessmer plant. With corporate headquarters in Siloam Springs, Ark., the company operates seven plants nationwide.
"The Department of Labor ensures workers are protected with a safe and healthy workplace, and this must be a priority of employers. OSHA has inspected this company 11 times since 1984 and has issued 68 citations," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "Allen Canning Company's establishments have consistently been cited for violating health and safety standard similar to those found in this recent inspection. This company's safety performance is unacceptable and we will not allow this persistent disregard for worker protections."
Forty-eight of the alleged violations were deemed serious, meaning the hazards could cause death or serious physical harm to employees, and the employer knew or should have known about them. These include failure to protect employees against hazards associated with powered industrial trucks, slipping or falling hazards on walking and working surfaces, potential falls from elevated surfaces, improperly guarded machines, material handling hazards, improper electrical wiring, defective hoists and blocked emergency exits.
An other-than-serious citation was issued for failing to develop a written respiratory program and provide training for employees required to wear respirators. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and or health of the employees.
Allen Canning Co. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge area office, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Baton Rouge area office at (225) 298-5458 or OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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.
The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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