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OSHA News Release – Region 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 05-1092-ATL (159)
Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Contact: Ken Atha Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (251) 441-6131 (404) 562-2076
MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Cutler at Abbeville L.L.C alleging safety and health violations at the company's Abbeville, Ala., egg processing facility. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $81,500.
OSHA began an inspection on Jan. 19, the day after an ammonia leak caused a plant-wide evacuation.
"This company lacked comprehensive management programs to train employees, identify hazardous chemicals and plan for unexpected ammonia releases," said Ken Atha, OSHA's Mobile area director.
OSHA issued one willful citation to Cutler, with a proposed penalty of $36,000, for failing to conduct a process safety management audit to ensure employees were protected from chemical hazards, as required by OSHA regulations.
The company received another willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $5,000, for charging employees for required personal protective equipment under their hearing conservation program.
OSHA issued 20 additional serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $40,500. Cited items included failing to: implement engineering controls to reduce noise levels; inform employees when their hearing levels changed and re-train them in the proper use of hearing protection devices; label pipes carrying chemicals; provide employees with personal protective equipment during the ammonia leak, and lack of a lockout-tagout program that rendered machinery inoperable during maintenance or repair.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Staff from OSHA's area office at 1141 Montlimar Dr., Suite 1006, in Mobile conducted the inspection; phone (251) 441-6131.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.
For additional information about protecting workers from chemical hazards, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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. DOL 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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