OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 4 News Release: 05-2272-ATL (299)
Date: Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Contact: James D. Borders Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (904) 232-2895 (404) 562-2076
Agency Proposes Penalties Totaling $62,000
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations, with proposed penalties totaling $62,000, to Hillandale Farms for exposing employees to injuries from unguarded machinery and other safety hazards at the company's Lake City, Fla., egg processing plant.
"Unguarded machinery is a leading cause of worker injuries and deaths, because workers can be caught by moving parts," said James Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville area director. "These so-called 'caught-by' accidents are preventable by following safety standards."
Although egg packing equipment at the plant had labels attached warning workers not to remove safety guards, OSHA found that the company removed the guards and ran the equipment without them to facilitate cleaning operations by the night shift crew. During one of the cleaning cycles, a crew member's fingers were reportedly caught in the equipment.
The company received one willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $50,000, for exposing workers to caught-by injuries from unguarded drive chains.
OSHA also issued four serious citations with total proposed penalties of $9,000. The serious violations included failing to: have a "lockout-tagout" program that rendered machinery inoperable during cleaning and maintenance; train employees on proper procedures for clean-up operations; identify and label positions for the equipment's on and off controls.
The remaining $3,000 penalty was assessed because the company failed to conduct hazard assessments; develop and maintain a respirator program; properly maintain injury-illness logs, and provide first aid equipment for the night crew. OSHA also sent the employer a letter recommending emergency stop buttons be added to individual packer conveyors.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspections were conducted by OSHA's Jacksonville area office, 1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 227; telephone: (904) 232 2895.
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 more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at 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 at (202) 693-7765 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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