Occupational Health & Safety

Judge Finds Pet Food Packaging Firm in Contempt of Court, Issues $42K Fine

The Alpha, Ill.-headquartered company has been ordered to pay $31,000 in fines for contempt and $10,964.95 in attorney's fees.

Senior District Judge Joe Billy McDade of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, has found All-Feed Processing & Packaging Inc. in civil contempt of court for failing to allow OSHA to inspect its Galva, Ill., facility between May 4 and July 5, 2011. The Alpha, Ill.-headquartered company has been ordered to pay $31,000 in fines for contempt and $10,964.95 in attorney's fees.

"All-Feed Processing & Packaging's continuous failure to allow proper OSHA inspections, along with its history of severe violations, led OSHA to seek court intervention to ensure its workers are safe," said Greg Baxter, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Chicago. "We are pleased that the courts have put the workers' welfare first and upheld federal standards requiring employers to allow OSHA access to full-shift inspections to ensure work environments are healthful and safe."

McDade also determined that the company's refusal to allow subsequent inspections of its pet food research and packaging facility in Galva unless OSHA would agree to limitations on time and conditions constituted clear and convincing evidence of a deliberate attempt to evade the warrant requirements issued by the district court in May.

In November 2011, OSHA cited All-Feed for 23 safety and health violations at its facility in Galva, including willful violations of OSHA's air contaminant, respiratory protection, and hearing conservation standards. Some violations were cited under OSHA's "general duty" clause, including failing to provide appropriate fire and explosion protection in locations where concentrations of combustible dust existed. All-Feed contested the proposed fines, which total $758,450.

All-Feed Processing & Packaging has been inspected by OSHA 12 times since 2000, resulting in enforcement actions on six occasions.

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