OSHA Cites Texas Fertilizer Operator for Safety Hazards

The agency has cited American Plant Food Corp. for 12 violations.

OSHA has cited American Plant Food Corp., a Texas fertilizer operator, for 12 health and safety violations and has issued $181,000 in proposed fines. The investigation occurred after a worker's leg was entangled in an auger in November 2013, according to OSHA. The company has been cited for exposing employees to hazards, not implementing proper energy control procedures, and more.

More specifically, OSHA's Austin Area Office cited the company for not providing adequate training for workers entering confined spaces and encountering industrial machinery that could unexpectedly start up. It also cited the company for a willful violation for allegedly failing to ensure adequate safeguards were in place to prevent workers from coming into contact with the auger during service and maintenance. In addition, OSHA issued nine serious safety violations for failing to implement lockout procedures, failing to provide access to first aid medical treatment, failure to properly guard machines, and more.

"This worker's debilitating injury was preventable had the employer used certain safeguards," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "As an established company in this industry with long-term management in place, American Plant Food Corp. should not allow such dangerous workplace practices."

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