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09-175-NEW/BOS 2009-046
Tues., Feb. 24, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA proposes more than $41,000 in fines against Ontario County, N.Y., sauerkraut manufacturer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Great Lakes Sauerkraut Co. LLC with $41,400 in proposed fines following inspections conducted under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Plan. The agency cited the Shortsville, N.Y., sauerkraut maker with 16 alleged serious violations of safety and health standards at its manufacturing facility.

"These citations encompass a cross-section of mechanical, electrical, fall, noise, confined space and other hazards that should have been addressed prior to the inspection," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse.

Specifically, OSHA's inspection found numerous instances of moving machine parts not guarded against accidental employee contact; lack of a hazardous energy control program, training and equipment to prevent the accidental startup of machinery; unguarded live electrical parts; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; and fall hazards stemming from a lack of fall protection, inadequate ladder safety, uncovered floor openings and unguarded open-sided work platforms and stairways.

Additional hazards included the lack of a confined space training program for employees whose duties involve entering sauerkraut tanks; lack of a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excessive noise levels; and lack of training in fire extinguisher use and hazards associated with incipient stage fire fighting.

"One way of helping ensure and maintain a safe and healthful workplace is through the establishment of an effective safety and health management system in which employees and management work together to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Adams.

OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. Great Lakes Sauerkraut has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply or contest them to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office; telephone 315-451-0808.

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


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