Sugar Producer Fined for Combustible Dust Hazards

OSHA has proposed $66,500 in penalties against Florida Crystals Corp.'s South Bay, Fla., production facility after uncovering 15 violations of OSHA standards. The inspection began last September in response to OSHA's National Emphasis Program on combustible dust.

The 14 serious violations, with proposed penalties totaling $63,500, include management's failure to keep the workplace free of accumulations of combustible dust; a locked fire exit door; failure to provide machine guards on equipment; not enforcing the use of seatbelts at the jobsite; not developing lockout/tagout procedures on packaging machines to prevent accidental machinery start-up; using a defective powered industrial truck; exposing employees to electrical hazards; and using high-pressure compressed air for cleaning purposes. An other-than-serious citation, with proposed penalties totaling $3,000, is for the company's failure to maintain separate injury logs for each of its establishments in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

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

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