Griffin Industries rendering plant cited for safety hazards

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $91,275 in penalties following an inspection of a Griffin Industries site in Starke, Fla.

The rendering plant is being cited with one willful violation and a $55,000 proposed penalty for not providing workers with fall protection when working above an industrial blender. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

One repeat violation is being issued with a $25,000 proposed penalty for the company's continued failure to conduct an annual audit of its lockout/tagout of energy source procedures for equipment. A repeat citation is issued when the employer has been previously cited for a substantially similar hazard in the past three years.

The company is also being cited for three serious violations and one other-than-serious violation with proposed penalties totaling $11,275 for failing to anchor a machine, not providing a lock to lock-out equipment, not shutting down equipment during clearing operations and not covering a floor hole. A serious violation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. An other-than-serious violation is defined as a situation where exposure cannot reasonably be predicted to cause death or serious physical harm to employees but the violation would have a direct impact on employees' safety or health.

Cold Spring, Ky.-based Griffin Industries collects and recycles agricultural waste, meat and poultry by-products, grocery scraps, restaurant grease and waste from the bakery industry.

"Fall hazards continue to be a leading cause of employee deaths in the workplace and should never be overlooked in any industry," said James Borders, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville.

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

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