Serious injury alerts OSHA to serious workplace hazards
American Plant Food Corp. in Texas f acing $181,000 in fines
An Austin, Texas fertilizer company that was inspected after a worker's leg was entangled in an auger was cited for 12 violations, including failing to ensure adequate safeguards were in place to prevent workers from coming into contact with the auger during servicing and maintenance.
OSHA's inspection of the safety and health practices of American Plant Food Corp.'s Bartlett facility also resulted in proposed penalties of $181,000.
"This worker's debilitating injury was preventable had the employer used certain safeguards," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "As an established company in this industry with long-term management in place, American Plant Food Corp. should not allow such dangerous workplace practices."
OSHA also found that the company failed to:
- provide adequate training for workers entering confined spaces and encountering industrial machinery that could unexpectedly startup.
- properly guard machines, electrical equipment and floor openings, such as pits and edges
- implement lockout procedures for hazardous energy control and
- provide access to first aid medical treatment
The Houston-based company employs about 88 workers at 11 Texas fertilizer-blending facilities. Two of the workers exposed at the Bartlett plant had been hired as temporary workers through Magnum Staffing in 2011. The company has a history of OSHA inspections, including two fatality investigations in December 1991 and June 1997 and an inspection of a Fort Worth facility in 2000 where citations were issued related to the control of hazardous energy.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AmericanPlantFood_949132.pdf.