Schwan’s is refuting claims by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that it is in breach of 32 serious safety and health violations at its Atlanta factory.
Chuck Blomberg, communication manager, Schwan's Shared Services, told FoodProductionDaily.com the firm does not agree with the claims and is working with OSHA to ensure it has a safe environment for employees.
'We take this matter seriously'
The US department carried out the inspection at Schwan's facility in September 2013, following a worker complaint. The citations carry $185,700 in penalties.
“At Schwan's Global Supply Chain, we are committed to ensuring the safety of employees and contractors who work at our facilities,” Schwan's said in a statement sent from Blomberg.
“While we do not agree with the claims, we are taking this matter seriously, and we are working through this process with OSHA to ensure the safest environment possible for our people.”
According to Bill Fulcher, director, OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, the firm did not provide adequate training for staff to work safely with ammonia, a hazardous and corrosive chemical used in refrigeration.
It also exposed workers to unguarded machines, damaging noise levels, and did not provide fitted personal protective equipment.
Two other companies, providing maintenance and staffing services for Schwan's, including Cimco Refrigeration and Adecco USA, were also cited for 18 safety and health violations.
OSHA cited Adecco for 12 serious safety and health violations, carrying penalties of $58,500.
Cimco was cited for six serious safety and health violations, carrying penalties of $20,160.
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