Birds Eye Foods has been fined almost $110,000 for safety violations at a frozen-food processing plant in Wisconsin.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that employees at the plant in Darien were expected to work in subzero temperatures without being given properly insulated clothing.
"OSHA's investigation uncovered that entry-level workers bought thermal protective equipment because Birds Eye Foods had not provided it," said OSHA's area director Kim Stille.
An inspection started in May after OSHA received a complaint that alleged unsafe working conditions. The agency said that it found one repeat and 12 serious safety violations, and proposed penalties totaling $109,400.
The repeat violation concerned the company's failure to install fixed stairs to access elevations with tools and equipment, which exposed workers to potential fall hazards. Inspectors found the same violation at the facility in June 2013.
The investigation also found slip, trip and fall hazards on unclean freezer floors and said that workers were exposed to live electrical parts and hazards related to hexavalent chromium inside the facility.
Birds Eye Foods, a division of Pinnacle Foods Inc., employs about 600 workers at the Darien plant.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, to request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.