OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-65-DAL
Wed., Feb. 4, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
AUSTIN -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has cited Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods Inc. in Austin, Texas, for failing to correct safety and health violations for which the company was previously cited.
"Employers who repeatedly violate safety standards warrant vigorous enforcement action," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $130,220 proposed in this case demonstrates the Administration's commitment to ensuring workers' safety and health.
OSHA inspectors found 17 alleged violations during an inspection that began July 23 to verify whether previously cited violations had been corrected. The violations stemmed from a release of ammonia at the plant on Aug. 8, 2000, that sent 11 employees to the hospital. OSHA issued citations with penalties totaling $382,500 on Feb. 5 and 21, 2001, in that case. The company settled and paid $63,050 in fines, promising to correct unsafe conditions.
Currently, OSHA has cited the company with 11 alleged serious, five alleged repeat and one other-than-serious violations. The serious violations involved maintenance and guarding of walking and working surfaces, process safety management, confined space procedures, lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machinery from starting up while employees are doing repairs or maintenance, machine guarding, eyewash stations and forklift standards. The repeat violations involved process safety management, medical evaluations, response to hazardous waste and forklift labeling. The other-than-serious violation involved open trash containers in the restrooms.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. Repeat violations are cited when a company has had a previous citation for the same or substantially similar condition within three years. Other-than-serious safety violations involve hazardous conditions that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
Michael Angelo's, a frozen food manufacturer, employs about 440 workers in North Austin. On Dec. 11, the company agreed to pay $140,220 for violations stemming from a fatality investigation that began June 2003.
Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to either comply, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA Austin area director, or 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 the OSHA Austin area office at (512)916-5783. OSHA's toll-free hotline number may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers at 1-800-321-6742.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring workers' safety and health. In fiscal year 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections, and more than half focused on high-hazard industries. 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) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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