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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Pepsi-Cola and National Brand Beverage Ltd. of Pennsauken, N.Y., with $195,000 in proposed penalties for alleged workplace safety and health violations.
OSHA initiated its investigation on April 1 in response to a complaint alleging that employees were exposed to hazards when clearing jams on the machine used to stack and transport pallets. As a result of the investigation, OSHA issued three willful citations.
The willful violations include the company's failure to provide training on lockout/tagout procedures, which prevent the inadvertent startup of machinery or the release of hazardous energy, failure to apply lockout/tagout procedures when machines were being serviced and failure to properly guard machinery. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for the law.
"The machine hazards identified at this facility pose a serious safety threat to employees if left unabated," said Gary Roskoski, director of OSHA's Marlton, N.J., area office. "A proven way of ensuring future abatement of all serious hazards, compliance with OSHA regulations and the prevention of employee injury, illness and death is for Pepsi-Cola and National Brand Beverage Ltd. in Pennsauken to establish an effective safety and health management system."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.