OSHA Busts Colorado Food Manufacturer for 28 Safety Violations

OSHA has cited the company for seven repeat, 18 serious, and three other-than-serious violations. Proposed fines total $116,160.

OSHA has cited McKeefe Ventures, doing business as Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods LLC in Rocky Ford, Colo., for 28 alleged safety and health violations after conducting a follow-up inspection in June to verify that corrective actions had taken place from a previous inspection. Proposed fines total $116,160.

OSHA has cited the company for seven repeat, 18 serious, and three other-than-serious violations. The repeat violations relate to hazards associated with respiratory protection, material storage, powered industrial trucks, and machine guarding. Similar violations were cited in 2010 at the same facility.

The serious violations include improper preventive maintenance of the anhydrous ammonia system, no lockout procedures for de-energizing equipment prior to performing maintenance activities, inadequate personal protective equipment, inadequate housekeeping, and various electrical hazards.

The other-than-serious violations include failing to properly maintain OSHA 300 logs for injuries and illnesses and to inspect fire extinguishers.

The prior inspection of Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods on which this follow-up is based was initiated in September 2010, following the injury of an employee when a steam-jacketed kettle of beans exploded. Numerous hazards with regard to electrical safety, forklift operations, and machine guarding were found and cited by OSHA.

"McKeefe Ventures was inspected and cited in the past for violations of OSHA standards under the names of Pueblo Foods LLC and Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods LLC, so the company is well aware of this agency's requirements for the industry," said David Nelson, director of OSHA's Englewood Area Office. "The violations that relate to improper management of the anhydrous ammonia system demonstrate a lax attitude toward a potentially catastrophic atmospheric release."

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