Feds Cite Dairies in Ohio and Kansas for Safety Violations

September 29, 2009

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a dairy in Ohio nearly $295,000 and a dairy in Kansas $124,500 for alleged health and safety violations.

OSHA said its inspection of Superior Dairy in Canton, Ohio, revealed 11 alleged serious safety violations and five alleged willful violations of federal workplace safety standards. Fines proposed total $294,950.

Hazards identified as serious violations include electrical problems, safety guarding of moving machinery parts, energy lockout deficiencies and confined space entry violations.

Alleged willful violations address the lack of a confined space entry permit program, failure to document or utilize machine specific procedures for control of potentially hazardous energy, training deficiencies and the lack or intentional bypass of machine guarding.

Superior Dairy has been in business since 1922 providing milk, ice cream and other dairy products to customers. The company also manufactures their own milk containers. A 2004 catastrophic fire at the plant resulted in numerous citations for process safety management and hazardous waste operations and emergency response.

OSHA said an inspection of Wichita, Kan.-based Hiland Dairy Foods Co. found 24 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the majority of which relate to deficiencies with the company’s process safety management program (PSM), an OSHA requirement for preventing the catastrophic release of hazardous chemicals.

The serious violations stem from overall deficiencies in the company’s PSM program. Other issues included lack of hoist system inspections, unguarded floor holes, deficiencies in the facility’s lockout/tagout program, unguarded belts, pulleys and sprockets, and electrical hazards.

OSHA cited the company following an inspection conducted under its site-specific targeting program, which targets employers with high injury and illness rates.

Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA, www.osha.gov

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