Pizza Shell Maker Fined $195,200 for Recurring Hazards
The hazards included failing to install and maintain electrical equipment that was safe for a hazardous location, not replacing pressure relief devices on the oil separator for an ammonia refrigeration compressor, and failing to develop a written emergency action program.
OSHA has cited Bona Via Inc., a Rochester, N.Y., manufacturer of pizza shells, for failing to correct safety hazards identified during a prior OSHA inspection and for newly identified hazards at its plant. The company faces a total of $195,200 in proposed fines.
"The sizable fines proposed here reflect the fact that this employer was given ample opportunity to correct several hazardous conditions that can have a negative impact on the safety and well-being of its workers, yet failed to do so," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo.
Following an inspection in late 2009, OSHA cited and fined the company $12,000 for a variety of hazards. The company agreed to correct those hazards. However, an OSHA follow-up inspection opened in August 2010 found that several of the hazards remained uncorrected. These included failing to install and maintain electrical equipment that was safe for a hazardous location, not replacing pressure relief devices on the oil separator for an ammonia refrigeration compressor, failing to develop a written emergency action program, not ensuring the flour silo area was clean of flour dust to avoid creating a dust explosion hazard, and not evaluating employees to ensure they were qualified to safely operate powered industrial trucks. The conditions resulted in the issuance of five failure-to-abate notices with $188,000 in proposed fines. A failure-to-abate notice is issued, and additional fines proposed, when an employer fails to correct previously cited hazards.
During the latest inspection, OSHA also identified several new conditions that resulted in the issuance of three serious citations with $7,200 in fines. These included failing to implement proper procedures to lock out machines' power sources prior to performing maintenance, an uncovered electrical junction box and a lack of fire extinguisher training. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"One means of eliminating recurring hazards such as these is for employers to establish an injury and illness prevention program in which workers and management jointly work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions on a continual basis," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.