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Region 7 News Release: 13-308-KAN
March 4, 2013
Contact: Scott Allen    Rhonda Burke
Phone:      312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov     burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Henningsen Foods Inc. for 7 violations at
Norfolk, Neb., food processing plant after 2 workers suffer burns

NORFOLK, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Henningsen Foods Inc. with seven alleged safety violations, including one repeat, after two workers received multiple burns while performing maintenance on gas vaporizers at its Norfolk facility in October 2012. The inspection was expanded under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates. Proposed fines total $45,000.

"Companies, such as Henningsen Foods, have a responsibility to ensure their workers are properly trained to use equipment safely that is necessary to perform their jobs," said Bonita Winingham, OSHA's area director in Omaha. "When companies demonstrate a higher than average rate of injury and illness, they need to review and improve their safety and health programs, while also training their workers."

One repeat violation was cited for failing to conduct powered industrial truck recertifications every three years. 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. A similar violation was cited in October 2008.

A total of six serious violations involve failing to ensure that knowledgeable personnel performed maintenance on direct fired liquid petroleum gas vaporizers; document permit confined space requirements; conduct and document periodic reviews of lockout/tagout procedures for the control of hazardous energy; and guard machines, conduct hoist inspections and install proper electrical panels in damp environments. 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.

Henningsen Foods, headquartered in Omaha, operates manufacturing facilities in David City and Ravenna, as well as a research, development and technical services center in Omaha. The company has been inspected by OSHA five times since 2008.

The company 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 Omaha Area Office at 402-553-0171.

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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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