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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release: 08-1318-CHI
Sept. 19, 2008
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Interstate Brands Corp. of Columbus for alleged willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards, and has issued a proposed penalty of $104,000.
OSHA opened an inspection at the facility in March after receiving information alleging potential amputation hazards. OSHA issued one willful citation to the company for failing to utilize lockout/tagout procedures that are designed to prevent accidental energization of equipment which might result in serious injury, including amputation. The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $70,000.
OSHA also issued eight serious citations alleging the company failed to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, failed to guard the moving parts of machinery, failed to utilize safe electrical work practices, and had training deficiencies. The eight serious citations total $34,000 in proposed penalties.
The agency has inspected Interstate Brands Corp., the largest wholesale baker and distributor of delivered bread and snack cakes in the U.S., 25 times in the past three years and has cited it on several previous occasions for lockout/tagout deficiencies.
"Failing to prevent accidental start-up of machinery and to guard moving parts against accidental human contact are proven hazards that can result in amputations and even death," said Deborah Zubaty, director of OSHA's area office in Columbus. "Any employer who is interested in providing a safe place of work for employees can avoid such terrible tragedies by following OSHA's clear regulations."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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