Interstate Brands faces $104,000 in OSHA fines

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Interstate Brands Corporation of Columbus, Ohio, for alleged willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards, and has issued a proposed penalty of $104,000.

OSHA opened an inspection at the facility in March after receiving information alleging potential amputation hazards. OSHA issued one willful citation to the company for failing to utilize lockout/tagout procedures that are designed to prevent accidental energization of equipment which might result in serious injury, including amputation. The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $70,000.

OSHA also issued eight serious citations alleging the company failed to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, failed to guard the moving parts of machinery, failed to utilize safe electrical work practices, and had training deficiencies. The eight serious citations total $34,000 in proposed penalties.

The agency has inspected Interstate Brands Corporation, the largest wholesale baker and distributor of delivered bread and snack cakes in the United States, 25 times in the past three years and has cited it on several previous occasions for lockout/tagout deficiencies.

"Failing to prevent accidental start-up of machinery and to guard moving parts against accidental human contact are proven hazards that can result in amputations and even death," said Deborah Zubaty, director of OSHA's area office in Columbus. "Any employer who is interested in providing a safe place of work for employees can avoid such terrible tragedies by following OSHA's clear regulations."

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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