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, March 17, 2014

OSHA Significant Citations - Workers Exposed To Amputation Hazards

OSHA defines a significant citation as one with more than $100,000 in proposed fines. An OSHA citation is a claim by OSHA that there has been a safety violation. It does not mean a violation has taken place, nor that the violation is as severe as claimed. The company has 15 days to contest OSHA claims. The following are the citations OSHA announced last week that have total fines of $100,000 or more.

Workers Exposed to Amputation Hazards at Gaspar Inc. ($112,000)
OSHA Cites Schwan's Food Supply For Serious Violations ($264,360)

Gaspar Inc., a boiler manufacturer in Canton, Ohio, has been cited for two willful violations by OSHA. The proposed penalties total $112,000. OSHA's investigation found the company was requiring employees to operate two press brakes and a horizontal boring machine where the machine guards had been removed. Machine guarding protects workers from lacerations, caught-in and amputation hazards.

"It is unacceptable that Gaspar would expose workers to the hazards of unguarded machinery each day," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "The company was previously cited for these hazards. Then, it removed protections it had installed. These actions demonstrate a willful lack of concern for employee safety. Injuries involving machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability, and OSHA continues to focus on identifying and eliminating these types of hazards."

OSHA issued two willful citations for lack of machine guarding on a horizontal boring mill and two press brakes. OSHA last inspected the company in 2011 and cited the same violations. Gaspar had provided documentation showing that guarding had been installed on the equipment. OSHA's latest investigation found the company had removed the installed guarding.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health.

Due to the violations found at the site, the company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites.

The current citations can be viewed at:

OSHA has cited Schwan's Global Supply Chain Inc., which manufactures frozen foods sold under several brand names, including Red Baron pizza and Mrs. Smith's desserts, for 32 serious safety and health violations at its Atlanta facility. Two other companies providing maintenance and staffing services for Schwan's, including Cimco Refrigeration Inc. and Adecco USA Inc., were cited for 18 safety and health violations.

OSHA inspectors alledge that the employers did not provide adequate training for employees to work safely with ammonia, a hazardous and corrosive chemical used in refrigeration. The employers were also cited for exposing workers to unguarded machines and damaging noise levels, and for failure to provide properly fitted personal protective equipment. OSHA initiated the inspection at Schwan's facility in September 2013, following a worker complaint. OSHA's citations carry $185,700 in penalties for Schwan's.

The inspection found that Schwan's exposed workers to dangerous conditions, many created by the company's failure to follow the OSHA Process Safety Management Standard to protect workers from dangerous exposure to ammonia used in the refrigeration system. The employer was cited for:
  • failing to ensure that doors to the ammonia handling machinery fit properly, which created a chemical hazard.
  • failing to provide training on safe work practices applicable to the ammonia refrigeration systems used at the facility.
  • blocked and mismarked exits in hazardous areas.
  • failure to train workers on controlling hazardous energy through standard lockout/tagout procedures during maintenance and services.
  • exposing workers to electrical hazards.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The Minnesota-based company employs approximately 14,000 employees nationwide. The Atlanta facility, which produces dough, cookies and pie crusts for popular products, employs approximately 494 workers.

OSHA inspectors found that temporary workers in Schwan's facility, employed by the Adecco staffing agency, were also exposed to hazards. Citations issued to Adecco included:
  • excessive air pressure used for cleaning.
  • lack for hazardous energy control training.
  • excessive noise levels.
  • unguarded machines, and platforms that created a fall hazards.
As a result, OSHA cited Adecco for 12 serious safety and health violations, carrying penalties of $58,500. With headquarters in Melville, N.Y., Adecco employs more than 300,000 workers nationwide. Adecco maintains an office at the Schwan's facility and provides labor and management of the on-site workforce.

In April 2013, OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers. During the inspection, OSHA inspectors paid special attention to the hazards facing temporary workers to determine the role of the host employer and the staffing agency in failing to eliminate serious hazards.

Cimco was cited for six serious safety and health violations, carrying penalties of $20,160. The violations were cited for exposing contract workers to excessive noise levels by failing to implement a noise monitoring program. Cimco also failed to provide necessary training, properly fitted respirators and clearly marked exits.

Cimco provided service and maintenance for the ammonia refrigeration system at Schwan's Atlanta facility.

To view the current citations, visit

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

Related Past Posts:
No OSHA Significant Citations Announced Last Week
OSHA Significant Citations - Two Fines Total $900,000
OSHA Significant Citations

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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