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Region 8 News Release: 11-343-DEN
March 23, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Dakota Prairie Organic Flour
in Harvey, ND, for exposing workers to variety of workplace hazards
BISMARCK, N.D. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dakota Prairie Organic Flour Co. in Harvey with four repeat, two serious and one other-than-serious alleged violation for exposing workers to unsafe conditions. Proposed fines total $29,568.
"This employer has demonstrated an indifference toward ensuring employee safety and compliance with OSHA regulations," said Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area office director in Bismarck. "The hazards uncovered during this investigation are well-recognized in the industry."
OSHA's Bismarck Area Office began its investigation in October 2010 and issued the company repeat citations for failing to establish and maintain an effective respiratory protection program, provide appropriate personal protective equipment, utilize approved electrical equipment and comply with OSHA recordkeeping requirements. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Dakota Prairie was cited for similar hazards from two inspections that began in January of 2009.
The serious citations were issued for failing to protect workers from electrical hazards and provide suitable facilities for the quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The other-than-serious citation was issued for failing to ensure fire extinguishers were readily accessible at all times. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Dakota Prairie, a manufacturer of specially designed organic flours, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA's Bismarck office can be reached at 701-250-4521. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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