Martin Technical, Inc., a leading subject matter expert in providing industrial plants and facilities with simplified safety solutions and consulting services, will be exhibiting at the ASSP Safety 2022 Conference June 27-29, 2022, in Chicago, IL. Industry experts will be present to educate facility professionals on how Martin Technical can make hazardous situations safer by applying solutions for training, electrical maintenance, inspections, lockout tagout, confined space, and OSHA services.
Martin Technical will be highlighting the latest, most comprehensive, and practical safety training offerings including blended learning training, virtual reality training, and strategies to guide organizations in building the most robust training program.
CREST HILL, IL – A 42-year-old Chicago area employee suffered a fatal injury while cleaning a machine at a Crest Hill frozen pizza manufacturer.
Rich Products Corp. is a multinational food manufacturer that operates about 100 locations globally and reports annual sales exceeding $4 billion. The company manufactures frozen pizzas, desserts, and other grocery items for food service, retail, in-store bakeries, and delis. It employs about 375 people at its Crest Hills facility and more than 7,400 nationwide.
OSHA issued one willful violation to the Buffalo, New York-based food manufacturer and proposed $145,027 in penalties. The agency placed Rich Products in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program for a willful violation that led to an employee fatality. The company has an extensive history of OSHA violations nationwide.
“This preventable tragedy is another example of why employers must ensure lockout/tagout procedures are in place before allowing workers to clean or operate machinery. Employers who fail to follow safety standards and train workers in operating procedures will be held accountable,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park.
The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference, or contest before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Lockout/Tagout is among the Top 10 Most Cited Standards
OSHA’s lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards are among the agency’s top 10 most frequently cited standards in FY 2021. The lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) was cited 1,698 times in the fiscal year (FY) 2021. At the same time, Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212) were cited 1,113 times.
MONTICELLO, IL – On February 19th, 2021, two workers at Topflight Grain Cooperative Inc. were clearing a bin of debris when the soybeans inside collapsed, engulfing one employee up to their waste. The subsequent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found the grain facility exposed workers to engulfment hazards. The total proposed penalties amounted to $303,510.
The agency cited Topflight for four grain-handling violations. This included a willful citation for failing to lockout or de-energize hazardous equipment before allowing workers to enter the bin. OSHA issued another willful violation for failing to post an attendant outside the bin for emergency response. The agency all issued citations for directing employees to work on top of railcars without fall protection and failing to test oxygen levels within before directing employees to work inside the grain bin.
In OSHA’s press release, OSHA Area director Barry Salerno made a statement regarding the grain facility which exposed workers to engulfment hazards. Salerno stated, “Six in ten grain engulfments result in the death of a worker but, like the incident at Topflight Grain Cooperative, they are entirely avoidable. OSHA works diligently with the grain and feed industry to enhance education and safety, but employers must follow industry-recognized standards to protect their workers.”
According to their website, Topflight Grain Cooperative operates 19 grain-producing facilities. These operate across Illinois and process 40 million bushels of grain annually.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.