OSHA takes employee safety complaints seriously, especially when a company has a record of previous infractions.
Milk Specialties Co. of Whitehall, WI, faces $1.14 million in OSHA fines in connection with a Dec. 2008 inspection. Inspectors visited the facility in response to a complaint alleging a variety of hazards at Milk Specialties’ whey processing plant.
OSHA issued 17 willful violations, totaling $1.07 million, for confined space and control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) requirements.
The citations say untrained employees entered confined spaces and performed maintenance and cleaning on powered equipment without protection from various hazards.
The company also faces 4 repeat and 17 serious citations that account for the balance of the total fine. Among the other citations:
- combustible dust hazards
- lack of exit route lighting and signage
- uninspected fire extinguishers, and
- deficiencies in guarding floor and wall openings.
Milk Specialties has been inspected by OSHA 15 times since 1974, including 4 inspections in Wisconsin between 2006 and 2008.
The company has 15 days to accept or appeal the citations.
You can read more about OSHA’s citation here.
OSHA wielded its more expensive willful, repeat and serious citations against this company that has a history of safety violations.
But, is a million-dollar citation enough, or should OSHA take further steps against the company such as closing this particular facility until safety improvements are made?
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