DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Last Week's OSHA Citations -Tribe Mediterranean Foods Cited

A summary of major OSHA citations announced during the week ending June 23rd.

The following is based on press releases from OSHA.

OSHA cites Tribe Mediterranean Foods for safety violations ($702,300)
National Vinyl Products subsidiary cited for 30 safety and health violations ($199,800)

OSHA has cited Tribe Mediterranean Foods, a subsidiary of Nestle SA, that manufactures Tribe brand hummus products, for 18 alleged violations of workplace safety standards following the death of a worker at its Taunton production plant. OSHA's South Boston Area Office opened an inspection on Dec. 16, 2011, after a contract employee who was cleaning and sanitizing a machine used in the hummus manufacturing process was caught, pulled into the machine and crushed to death between two rotating augers.

OSHA's investigation found that Tribe Mediterranean Foods had not trained the deceased worker and six other workers who cleaned plant machinery on hazardous energy control or "lockout/tagout" procedures. These are the procedures employers must put into effect and train workers to follow to shut down machines and lock out their power sources before cleaning or performing maintenance on them. The purpose of lockout/tagout procedures is to ensure that the machines are not operating, and cannot unexpectedly activate and harm workers. OSHA requires that employers train workers so that they understand the purpose of the energy control procedures, and have the knowledge and skills required to safely utilize them.

When there is a particularly egregious lack of compliance and exposure to hazards, OSHA can issue citations on a per-instance basis, in this case, representing one willful violation for each untrained employee exposed to a hazard.

OSHA has issued Tribe Mediterranean Foods citations for two additional willful violations, one for failing to adequately train maintenance workers to recognize hazardous energy sources, and one for failing to develop and utilize lockout/tagout procedures.

Citations for three repeat violations have been issued for failing to conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures, inadequate guarding of rotating blades on blending tanks, and an exposed chain and sprocket on a conveyor.  OSHA cited Tribe Mediterranean Foods, doing business as FoodTech International Inc., in October 2009, for similar hazards at its New Haven, Conn., plant.

Finally, Tribe Mediterranean Foods has been issued citations covering six serious violations for electrical, slipping, fall, pallet jack and additional machine guarding hazards.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/TribeMediterraneanFoodsIncorporated_315145953_0612_12.pdf.

Tribe Mediterranean Foods, which faces a total of $702,300 in proposed fines, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Due to the willful and repeat violations and the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed Tribe Mediterranean Foods in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

Tribe Mediterranean Foods is a subsidiary of Tivall 1993 LTD, which is owned by Osem Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Nestle SA. The Osem Group of companies produces and distributes certified-kosher food products in Israel, Europe and the United States. In addition to Osem and Migdanot Habayit products, the company imports, markets and distributes throughout the United States products from Wissotzki, Matzot Rishon, Matzot Karmel, Einat, Couscous Maison, Milos, Progress, Tempo, Beit Hashita, Beigel & Beigel, Manamim, Creative and Menora Candles.

The workers' compensation carrier insuring Tribe Mediterranean Foods through parent company OSEM Foods is Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

Detailed information on hazardous energy control, including an interactive training program, is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/index.html.

OSHA has cited National Vinyl Products Inc. and subsidiary NVP Hospitality Design LLC, both located in St. Genevieve, with a total of 30 safety and health violations, including three repeat violations for failing to properly ground electrical equipment and a lack of machine guarding. Proposed penalties total $199,800.

OSHA initiated a follow-up inspection of National Vinyl Products Inc. in December 2011 after inspections in May 2009 and April 2010 resulted in citations for a variety of violations. The most recent inspection resulted in citations for 12 violations. OSHA initiated a concurrent inspection of NVP Hospitality Design LLC based on a report of unsafe working conditions, which resulted in citations for 18 violations.

One repeat violation at National Vinyl Products is failing to ground electrical equipment. Two repeat violations at NVP Hospitality Design involve a lack of machine guarding and using flexible cords that are not grounded. These violations previously were cited during the 2009 and 2010 inspections. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation  at any other facility within the last five years.

National Vinyl Products has been cited with a failure-to-abate violation for not correcting machine guarding deficiencies cited during an April 2010 inspection of the facility

Nine serious safety and health violations at National Vinyl Products involve deficient lockout/tagout procedures, a lack of machine guarding, defective slings, poor housekeeping, a lack of protective footwear and failing to have legible load ratings on slings.

Fourteen serious safety and health violations at NVP Hospitality Design involve deficient lockout/tagout procedures, a lack of machine guarding and a lack of personal protective equipment including eyewear. Other hazards cited involve a lack of fall protection, and failing to train workers who use powered industrial trucks, properly store and label flammable liquids, and implement a hazard communication program.

Three other-than-serious violations relate to a lack of certification for hazard assessments at both companies and record-keeping deficiencies at NVP Hospitality Design.

The citations can be viewed at:

Proposed penalties total $119,700 for National Vinyl Products and $80,100 for NVP Hospitality Design.

Related Past Posts:
Major OSHA Citations -  Week Ending June 18th
Major OSHA Citations - Week Ending June 9th
Major OSHA Citations - Week Ending June 2nd

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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