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OSHA cites Richelieu Foods, Beaver Dam, WI for 27 violations; proposes $228,900 in fines

Region 5 News Release: 13-309-CHI
Feb. 28, 2013

BEAVER DAM, Wis. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Richelieu Foods Inc. with 27 health and safety violations, including two repeat, for inadequate hazardous energy control procedures after an August 2012 inspection at the company's Beaver Dam facility was opened under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates. Proposed fines total $228,900.

Because of the hazards and the violations cited, Richelieu Foods has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. OSHA's SVEP focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities.
"Companies with a higher than average rate of injury and illness for their industry have a responsibility to review their health and safety programs and address worker training needs to reduce proactively the hazards and risks posed," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison. "OSHA is committed to protecting the safety and health of workers on the job."

The two repeat violations were cited for failing to control hazardous energy, including conducting periodic inspections of energy control procedures and providing required information on written energy control procedures, such as specific rules and techniques, as well as testing requirements to determine the effectiveness of the energy control procedures. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Richelieu Foods was previously cited for both of these violations in 2009 at the Beaver Dam facility.

A total of 24 serious safety and health violations were cited for failing to guard machines, monitor noise exposure levels, train workers on emergency response and hazardous chemicals, provide permit confined space requirements and provide lockout/tagout procedures for the control of hazardous energy. Violations were also cited for OSHA's process safety management standard, which prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids involving highly hazardous chemicals, including failing to document inspections, tests and system designs.

An other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to annually certify process safety management standard operating procedures. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. The Beaver Dam facility employs about 410 workers and has been inspected three times. The last inspection in 2009 cited 11 violations.