Employee Complaints Lead to Food Distributor Investigation

OSHA cited the food manufacturer and distributor and has proposed $73,400 in fines.

Filing a total of $73,400 in fines, OSHA investigators identified five alleged violations at a Massachusetts wholesale food distributor. Progressive Gourmet Inc. received citations for lack of routine inspections and maintenance to the ammonia refrigeration system, inadequate prevention of unintended machinery startup, and fall hazards, among other issues.

Progressive Gourmet was inspected beginning in September 2012 in response to employee complaints.

"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to a release of ammonia, slips and falls, and to being caught in unexpectedly activated machinery," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts. "Prompt, effective, and ongoing corrective action is necessary to eliminate these hazards and prevent their recurrence."

The company has 15 days following its receipt of the citations to correct the violations or appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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