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Region 8 News Release: 11-1689-DEN (11-273)
Dec. 8, 2011
Contact: Michael Shimizu
Phone: 206-553-7620
Email: shimizu.michael@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods
in Rocky Ford, Colo., for 28 violations; penalties total more than $116,000

DENVER – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited McKeefe Ventures, doing business as Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods LLC in Rocky Ford, for 28 alleged safety and health violations after conducting a follow-up inspection in June to verify that corrective actions had taken place from a previous inspection. Proposed fines total $116,160.

OSHA has cited the company for seven repeat, 18 serious and three other-than-serious violations. The repeat violations relate to hazards associated with respiratory protection, material storage, powered industrial trucks and machine guarding. 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. Similar violations were cited in 2010 at the same facility.

The serious violations include improper preventive maintenance of the anhydrous ammonia system, no lockout procedures for de-energizing equipment prior to performing maintenance activities, inadequate personal protective equipment, inadequate housekeeping and various electrical hazards. 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 violations include failing to properly maintain OSHA 300 logs for injuries and illnesses and to inspect fire extinguishers. 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.

The prior inspection of Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods on which this follow-up is based was initiated in September 2010, following the injury of an employee when a steam-jacketed kettle of beans exploded. Numerous hazards with regard to electrical safety, forklift operations and machine guarding were found and cited by OSHA.

"McKeefe Ventures was inspected and cited in the past for violations of OSHA standards under the names of Pueblo Foods LLC and Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods LLC, so the company is well aware of this agency's requirements for the industry," said David Nelson, director of OSHA's Englewood Area Office. "The violations that relate to improper management of the anhydrous ammonia system demonstrate a lax attitude toward a potentially catastrophic atmospheric release."

The citations from this latest inspection can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/mckeefeventures_62962_0602_11.pdf*.

The company has 15 business days from receipt to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Englewood office at 303-843-4500. 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.


* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


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