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"Inattention" to process safety management program results in $124,500 in proposed OSHA penalties (9/29)

September 29, 2009
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OSHA has cited Hiland Dairy Foods Co. in Wichita for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and has proposed $124,500 in penalties.

OSHA's inspection found 24 alleged serious violations of the OSH Act, the majority of which relate to deficiencies with the company's process safety management program (PSM), an OSHA requirement for preventing the catastrophic release of hazardous chemicals.

"There is no excuse for Hiland Dairy's inattention to such a critical program aimed at preventing the catastrophic release of hazardous chemicals," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "The company needs to address these issues quickly and sufficiently to ensure the safety and health of its workers and the surrounding community."

The serious violations stem from overall deficiencies in the company's PSM program. Other issues included lack of hoist system inspections, unguarded floor holes, deficiencies in the facility's lockout/tagout program, unguarded belts, pulleys and sprockets, and electrical hazards. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

OSHA cited the company following an inspection conducted under its site-specific targeting program, which targets employers with high injury and illness rates.

Hiland Dairy Foods has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Wichita or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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