Fertilizer Manufacturer Faces $236,000 in Fines for Repeat/Serious Offenses

OSHA has cited Howard Fertilizer & Chemical Co.'s Groveland, Fla., facility with 23 safety violations and proposed $236,000 in penalties. The agency cited the company for failing to fully abate three hazards that OSHA had identified during a previous inspection and proposed $138,000 in penalties for the firm's failure to inform and train employees about recognized dangers, not installing standard railings on open-sided catwalks, and exposing employees to confined spaces and electrical hazards.

"This company is putting its employees' lives at risk by failing to correct serious safety hazards and to educate its employees about these hazards," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa.

OSHA cited the fertilizer manufacturer with 12 repeat violations carrying $72,000 in proposed penalties for failing to provide fall protection, not instituting lockout procedures (to prevent accidental energization start-ups) and machine guards on equipment, and exposing employees to numerous electrical hazards. The agency also cited eight serious safety violations carrying $26,000 in proposed penalties for failing to properly maintain catwalks, roof support beams, and electrical equipment.

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