The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $116,500 in fines against a Wisconsin manufacturer for serious workplace safety violations.
OSHA’s investigation resulted in 14 serious and two willful violations of federal workplace safety regulations at Domain, Inc., a dairy, beef and feed-products manufacturing facility where an employee fatality occurred in April.
The alleged willful violations were due to the company’s failure to develop energy control procedures for servicing and maintaining equipment and the failure to ensure hazardous energy sources were locked out properly. The serious violations addressed other issues in the company’s lockout/tagout program and problems with the confined-space programs, noise monitoring and electrical and machine-guarding problems.
OSHA officials began their investigation in mid-April after receiving information that an employee had died at the facility while cleaning out a mixer and lower-surge hopper during a permit-required confined space entry. A pneumatically-operated drop gate that should have been locked out suddenly activated, killing the employee.
"When employers shirk their responsibility to keep the workplace free of such hazards, the results can be tragic for workers and their families," said OSHA area director Mark Hysell, Eau Claire, Wis.
Domain has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.