US Labor Department's OSHA fines an Illinois employer $140,700
for failing to lock out machine energy sources and endangering workers
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited an Illinois packing company with two alleged willful and 12 serious violations for failing to ensure lockout procedures and guarding devices were applied to machinery. Proposed fines total $140,700.
OSHA initiated its inspection in April. As a result, the company was cited for two willful citations with proposed fines of $112,000 for failing to ensure lockout devices were applied to machinery when workers were performing tasks where lockout was required and for failing to ensure rotating parts on machinery were properly guarded. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The serious violations with proposed penalties of $28,700 were cited for failing to provide standard railings on open-sided platforms, require protective eye and face wear for employees working with corrosive chemicals, conduct required periodic inspections of energy control procedures, provide training on lockout/tagout procedures and ensure guards were affixed to machinery to cover dangerous areas. A serious citation is issued 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.
The company, which manufactures sausages, meats and frozen meat toppings, 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Chicago Regional Office at 312-353-2220. To report workplace injuries, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 assure 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.