Wisconsin Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Staff to Machine Hazards

Noria news wires

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Choice Products USA for continually exposing employees to machine safety hazards at its cookie-dough manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company faces $782,526 in penalties and has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited Choice Products for five egregious and willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined the company failed to install machine guarding and comply with forklift regulations.

OSHA cited Choice Products for exposing employees to similar machine hazards following an October 2016 inspection.

“The company managers developed comprehensive lockout/tagout procedures following the 2016 inspection but failed to implement their own safety program,” said William Donovan, OSHA’s acting regional administrator. “Employers are required by law to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces.”

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

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on safeguarding equipment and protecting employees from amputations and control of hazardous energy.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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