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Region 3 News Release: 11-1271-PHI (osha 11-096)
Aug. 31, 2011
Contact: Leni Fortson   Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102   215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov   hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines Burris Logistics for
safety and health hazards at Harrington, Del., warehouse

HARRINGTON, Del. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Burris Logistics for 13 alleged serious safety and health violations at its Harrington warehouse following an investigation initiated under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $76,005.

Some of the serious violations involve exposing employees to electrical hazards due to the company's failure to properly mark voltage panel boxes, properly guard voltage junction boxes and cover live electrical parts. Additionally, Burris Logistics failed to consult employees, including contractors, on the process hazard analysis and other elements of process safety management. The company also failed to provide appropriate process safety information; provide appropriate operating procedures regarding safe shift changes, shutting down and starting up; document that the oil drain valve for one of the process pressure vessels complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; address considerations related to fluctuations in ammonia levels; conduct inspections to maintain system mechanical integrity; implement a plan for emergencies involving a potential ammonia release; provide written procedures for employees engaged in maintenance activities; place electrical equipment in an approved location; and ensure that the ammonia machine room complied with ventilation and other safety requirements.

An other-than-serious violation, with no monetary penalty, was cited for not conducting annual hearing tests.

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. 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.

"It is vital that the company take immediate measures to correct these hazards in order to protect the safety and health of its workers," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office.

Burris Logistics, headquartered in Milford, provides logistics services for distributing perishable items and frozen foods throughout the eastern United States. About 104 workers are employed at the Harrington warehouse.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Wilmington office; telephone 302-573-6518. 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.

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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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