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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 03-960-CHI
Jan. 13, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
CALUMET CITY, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Gelita USA, a Calumet City, Ill. food preparation company for safety violations following a July 2003 accident. One employee was fatally injured while performing maintenance on machinery at the plant as a result, and OSHA has proposed fines of $145,000.
"This company failed to protect its workers from known hazards, " said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "This significant fine of $145,000 demonstrates that this Administration will not tolerate the neglect of safety standards."
In the July fatality, an employee was killed when his clothing became entangled in a rotating mandril at the end of an oven. The mandril is a large shaft equipped with blades or fins that break up dried sheets of gelatin.
OSHA's investigation into the accident revealed that Gelita USA did not develop written energy control procedures for locking out specific equipment while service was being performed. OSHA also cited the company for not ensuring that lockout or tagout devices were affixed while maintenance or service was performed and that equipment was not operating while barrier guards were being replaced.
Gelita USA employs some 65 workers in Calumet City and 2,500 company-wide. The company has had nine previous OSHA inspections at various locations. Several violations included lockout/tagout issues, according to Gary Anderson, director of OSHA's Calumet City area office.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA 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
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.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. The U.S. Department of Labor 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.
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