Chicago Producer Hit With $172,350 in Fines

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations and proposed penalties to Appetizers And Inc. of Chicago following an April inspection into workplace safety and health practices at the facility.

“Strong enforcement is a key part of this Administration’s efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. “The significant penalty of $172,350 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers.”

The company was cited for willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations. Specifically, OSHA alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards in the areas of electrical hazards, machine guarding, training issues, and obstructed exit routes.

Willful violations were alleged against the firm for failing to protect against accidental energizing of machines, and for failing to train workers in energy control. Failure to lockout machinery from accidental energizing is a major cause of workplace amputations and other serious injuries.

Appetizers And Inc. employs more than 600 workers in Chicago and has had three previous OSHA inspections resulting in citations for violations of personal protective equipment requirements, lockout regulations, and hazard communication standards, among others.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.