Food product manufacturer and distributor Supreme Oil Co. Inc. is facing $259,000 in fines for one willful, one repeat, and 30 serious safety and health violations found at its Englewood, NJ, plant, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.
A February inspection was a part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting 2012 inspection plan.
“The wide range and variety of both safety and health related violations found at Supreme Oil Co. Inc. are indicative of a failed safety and health program,” said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. “The cited hazardous conditions must be corrected quickly and effectively to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for all employees.”
Lockout/tagout procedures which prevent inadvertent machine start-up, were not developed, documented, and utilized by the company for the control of potentially hazardous energy, resulting in a willful violation carrying a $70,000 penalty. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The repeat violation, carrying a $33,000 penalty was for workroom floors not maintained in a dry condition. The company faced similar citations in 2012. A repeat violation exists when an employer faced previous citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The serious violations include electrical and trip hazards, and the company’s failure to provide lockout/tagout training for employees involved in service and maintenance activities; ensure fire exits were not obstructed; provide appropriate machine guarding and fall protection; provide and maintain a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excessive noise; limit employee exposure to carbon monoxide; and obtain written approval from the forklift manufacturer prior to making modifications. 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 proposed penalty for the serious violations is $156,000.
“A key way employers can prevent conditions that can injure or sicken workers is to establish and maintain an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to identify and prevent hazardous conditions,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator for New York.