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Region 5 News Release: 12-70-CHI
Feb. 22, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Basic Grain Products in
Coldwater, Ohio, for safety violations after worker injured by conveyor belt

COLDWATER, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Basic Grain Products Inc. with 13 safety violations for failing to ensure hazardous energy sources were secured, among other dangers. OSHA opened an inspection in September based on a complaint that a worker had suffered sprains, multiple lacerations and contusions as a result of having clothing become caught in a conveyor belt that had not been properly locked out prior to maintenance and cleaning activities. The Coldwater-based snack food producer faces proposed fines of $112,000.

Two willful violations with penalties of $70,000 have been cited for the employer's failure to develop and ensure machine-specific energy control procedures were used to control the flow of hazardous energy when workers were cleaning the conveyor system, which left them exposed to amputation and "caught-by" hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Seven serious safety violations with penalties of $38,000 involve the employer's failure to provide guarding around floor holes, provide adequate assessments to determine if personal protective equipment was required, provide training on lockout/tagout procedures for hazardous energy sources, guard machines and shaft ends, certify that a workplace hazard assessment was performed, provide workers with safety glasses while they were cleaning with compressed air, and use compressed air for cleaning at a pressure of less than 30 pounds per square inch. 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.

Four other-than-serious violations with $4,000 in penalties involve failing to properly complete the OSHA 300 injury and illness log for the years 2008 through 2011. 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 injury.

"Failing to develop and implement procedures to control hazardous energy by locking out equipment prior to cleaning operations exposes workers to amputation and caught-by hazards, and demonstrates this employer's lack of regard for workers' safety and health," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

Prior to this inspection, the company had been inspected by OSHA five times since 2001, resulting in citations for 12 serious violations related to electrical safety, machine guarding and a lack of hazard communication.

The citations can be viewed at*.

Basic Grain Products has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.

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


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

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at 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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