Magistrate Judge John Gorman of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois recently ordered All-Feed Processing & Packaging, Inc., headquartered in Alpha, to allow OSHA to inspect its facilities during normal working conditions or face significant fines.
After finding the company in contempt for failing to allow OSHA to inspect its pet food research and packaging facility in Galva, the judge imposed a daily fine of $500 beginning May 4. The fines against the company will be purged once OSHA is allowed to conduct full-shift monitoring of employees' exposure to dust and noise under normal plant operating conditions without interference. In any event, the company is responsible for paying court costs and attorney fees.(WCxKit)
Following a January inspection, OSHA's Peoria Area Office cited the company for four willful and one serious health violation for repeatedly failing to provide respirators and monitor workers' exposure to dust at the Galva facility. Those violations qualified the company for placement in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which is intended to focus enforcement resources on employers with a history of safety violations endangerING workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law. This tool includes mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections and inspections of other work sites of the same employer where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present.
All Feed Processing & Packaging has been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 2000, resulting in a significant enforcement action on five occasions.(WCxKit)
Those citations encompassed a total of 43 serious, 19 willful, five repeat and 10 other-than-serious violations, many of which related to failing to monitor and limit employees' exposure to hazardous dust.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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