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Region 3 News Release: 12-603-PHI (osha 12-035)
April 2, 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 cites Pittsburgh chocolate company for 16
workplace safety violations, proposes more than $84,000 in fines
Worker injured because proper energy control procedures were not in place

PITTSBURGH – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tsudis Chocolate Co. for two repeat and 14 serious safety violations at its Pittsburgh candy manufacturing facility. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker sustained head injuries while setting up operations on a machine that started up inadvertently.

"A machine was not locked out to prevent the accidental start up that caused this worker's injuries," said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office. "By not complying with OSHA's standards, this company continues to leave its workers vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injury and possible death."

The repeat violations involve failing to provide workers with adequate training in safe energy control and electrical work practices. 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 October 2010.

The serious violations involve deficient energy control procedures, improper storage of materials, inadequate machine guarding, electrical hazards and failing to provide proper exits/means of egress. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer know or should have known.

Tsudis employs approximately 135 workers at the Pittsburgh facility.

Proposed penalties total $84,150. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Pittsburgh office at 412-395-4903.

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 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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