Processing Magazine

OSHA cites New York food processor for exposing workers to unsafe conditions

August 23, 2012

UTICA, N.Y. — Food processing company Delorio Foods Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor''s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with 14 alleged serious violations at the company''s Utica, N.Y., manufacturing facility for exposing workers to unsafe working conditions.

Proposed penalties total $54,900 following an inspection initiated by OSHA in May.

"In one instance, the floor was coated with oil near a hot press, and in another, the exit route from a storage area was obstructed by a pallet of food and a trash can," said Chris Adams, OSHA''s area director for Syracuse. "Failing to correct the hazards would continue to expose workers to the dangers of falls, chemical burns, getting caught in a machine or being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of an emergency."

The inspection found that working area floors were not kept free from slippery conditions and the exit route from a storage area was obstructed by a pallet of food and a trash can. OSHA inspectors also found that employees who were exposed to corrosive materials lacked adequate stations for quick flushing of the eyes and body if they came in contact with the materials. Additionally, inspectors found that the devices intended to be used for locking and tagging out the energy sources of machinery were being used incorrectly as personal locks in the men''s locker room. 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.

"An effective illness and injury prevention program in which workers and managers work together to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions can prevent injuries from occurring in the first place," said Robert Kulick, OSHA''s regional administrator in New York.