Region 2 News Release: NY 176
August 25, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
DUNKIRK, NEW YORK ICE CREAM MANUFACTURER CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND OTHER SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS: $206,550 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fieldbrook Farms, Inc., of 1 Ice Cream Drive, Dunkirk, New York, and proposed penalties of $206,550 against the firm, for two alleged willful, thirty-five alleged serious, and ten alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until September 15 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director David Boyce, the action results from a programmed inspection of the facility conducted from February 24 to August 23 under OSHA's interim targeting program which targets individual worksites for inspections in the ice cream and frozen desserts industry that have lost workday injury and illness rates in excess of 8.5 injuries and illnesses per 100 employees.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA standards by not performing required audiometric examinations of employees exposed to excessive noise, and not providing appropriate noise hazard training for employees, measures which are required as part of an effective hearing conservation program for noise exposure levels in excess of 85 decibels.
The alleged willful violations carry a total proposed penalty of $99,000.
"OSHA is committed to stringent enforcement in those workplaces where employers willfully violate OSHA standards", Boyce said. "It is important for employers to know that in cases such as this, OSHA will take aggressive enforcement action so that others are put on notice that disregard for employee safety and health is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated."
Among the thirty-five alleged serious violations of OSHA standards for which the employer was cited are:
- failure to develop and implement an adequate emergency action plan.
- failure to require employees exposed to excessive noise to use adequate hearing protection.
- failure to develop and implement an adequate emergency response plan in the event of a release of a hazardous substance.
- failure to develop and implement an adequate respiratory protection program.
- failure to properly evaluate respiratory hazards at the facility.
- failure to develop and implement an adequate hazard communication program.
- failure to provide an adequate process safety management program for anhydrous ammonia, a highly hazardous chemical, and failure to implement appropriate safety systems to control releases of anhydrous ammonia.
- failure to obtain proper confined space permits and to provide adequate training for employees working in permit-required confined spaces
- failure to develop and implement a lockout-tagout program to control hazardous energy--failure to provide an educational fire extinguisher program.
- failure to properly guard machinery.
- failure to use proper electrical components and comply with proper electrical practices.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $107,550.
OSHA also cited the company for ten other-than-serious violations, including:
- failure to adequately maintain the required OSHA log of occupational injuries and illnesses.
- failure to provide an appropriate eyewash and shower where corrosive materials were being used.
- failure to perform a survey to determine the presence, location and quantity of asbestos-containing material at the facility.
- failure to determine which employees were exposed to blood borne pathogens, to maintain adequate medical and training records for those employees, and to provide appropriate training for such employees.
- failure to assure employee participation and training in process safety management.
A willful violation is one committed with intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as one in which there is substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is defined as one which is not likely to cause death or serious physical harm, but has a direct relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Buffalo Area office, located at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, NY. Telephone: 716-684-3891.
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