It was déjà vu all over again for Choice Products USA LLC. Back in 2016, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin cookie dough manufacturer had been cited by OSHA for a number of machine hazards that potentially exposed workers to hazardous energy.
During their latest inspection, OSHA inspectors found similar machine hazards, along with a host of others. Choice Products was cited for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to install machine guarding, and comply with forklift regulations.
The company faces $782,526 in penalties, and has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“The company managers developed comprehensive lockout/tagout procedures following the 2016 inspection but failed to implement their own safety program,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator William Donovan. “Employers are required by law to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces.”
“Worker safety should be an employer’s top priority every day they’re open for business,” OSHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt said. “Employers who do not comply with safety standards will continue to face the full enforcement of the law.”
OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputations and Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout.