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Region 5 News Release: 12-659-CHI
April 23, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites American Foods Group
with 7 safety violations at Sharonville, Ohio, plant

SHARONVILLE, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Foods Group LLC with seven safety violations – including one repeat – at the company's Sharonville meat processing facility following a Feb. 23 inspection conducted under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Amputations. Proposed penalties total $47,000.

The repeat violation is failing to conduct periodic and regular inspections of lockout procedures for the energy sources of equipment. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously was 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 at the company's Green Bay, Wis., facility in 2009.

"Failing to ensure that energy sources are isolated and locked prior to initiating maintenance of machinery places workers at greater risk of amputations and other serious injuries," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

Six serious violations involve failing to train employees who service equipment so that they are authorized to implement the energy control program, train employees on how to troubleshoot electrical equipment using safe work practices, train employees on the operation of powered industrial trucks, affix locks to machines' energy isolation devices prior to allowing employees to perform maintenance and servicing operations, and provide locks to production employees who service equipment. 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.

One other-than-serious violation is failing to develop and implement energy control procedures for newly installed equipment that uses the same energy sources as other machines within the facility. 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.

American Foods Group, headquartered in Green Bay, operates additional food processing facilities in Long Prairie and St. Paul, Minn.; Yankton, S.D.; and Gibbon and Omaha, Neb. OSHA previously conducted seven corporatewide inspections of the company, resulting in citations for violations related to lockout/tagout, powered industrial trucks and personal protective equipment standards.

American Foods Group 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.

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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