The US department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined Kerry Ingredients & Flavours $50,000 for three repeat safety violations at a plant in the US.
The violations occurred at Kerry’s Flemington facility in New Jersey. The plant manufactures cereal, soft drinks and seasonings and has 45 employees.
The first repeat violation created a risk of lacerations and amputations due to a lack of lockout procedures for the energy sources of specific equipment.
“Procedures in place did not address all the hazards associated with the equipment used in the process,” said OSHA in the citation seen by BakeryAndSnacks.com.
This was a repeat of a previous OSHA citation issued in 2008. The company has until June to abate this violation.
Unprotected bench grinder
The other two violations related to potential hazards from a delta bench grinder.
Firstly, the work rest on the grinder was not adjusted closely to the wheel, risking safety to workers.
Further danger was created as the distance between the grinding wheel and tongue guard was too great.
The distance was corrected on inspection, but came four years after OSHA had cited Kerry for the same offence in 2008 at a plant in Chicago.
Legal responsibility to protect workers
The violations were discovered following an inspection conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates.
Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office said: "Not using proper safeguards leaves workers at risk of serious injury. Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful workplace."
Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York, said: "Employers can take proactive steps alongside workers to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions by establishing an injury and illness prevention program."
Kerry’s next move
Kerry was sent the citation on 2 May. The company has 15 days after receiving the citation letter to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.