OSHA levies $295K in fines against Superior Dairy Inc.

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Superior Dairy Inc. in Canton, Ohio, with alleged serious and willful citations of federal workplace safety standards. Fines proposed total $294,950.

OSHA began its safety and health inspections at the Canton dairy after receiving information alleging numerous safety violations at the company. The resulting inspection revealed 11 alleged serious safety violations and five alleged willful violations.

Hazards identified as serious violations include electrical problems, safety guarding of moving machinery parts, energy lockout deficiencies and confined space entry violations. Serious citations are issued 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.

Alleged willful violations address the lack of a confined space entry permit program, failure to document or utilize machine specific procedures for control of potentially hazardous energy, training deficiencies and the lack or intentional bypass of machine guarding. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

"Confined spaces hold the potential for suffocation and exposure to hazardous, sometimes deadly chemical fumes, and must be addressed as a threat to workers' lives," said OSHA area director Rob Medlock in Cleveland. "I believe that all of us share a common interest and desire in seeing that every worker goes home safe and healthy at the end of every work shift."

Superior Dairy has been in business since 1922 providing milk, ice cream and other dairy products to customers. The company also manufactures their own milk containers. A 2004 catastrophic fire at the plant resulted in numerous citations for process safety management and hazardous waste operations and emergency response.

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

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