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, Ohio, 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 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.