Food Company Cited for Worker Hazards

OSHA cited and proposed penalties of $297,500 to Hanover Foods Corp.'s Clayton, Del., plant for safety violations.

Hanover Foods Corp. is a vegetable processor and frozen food manufacturer headquartered in Hanover, Pa.

OSHA initiated an investigation under its inspection scheduling system for industries with high injury rates.

According to Lacy Sutton, area director Wilmington OSHA office, the investigation yielded citations for four willful violations, with a proposed penalty of $280,000, and seven serious violations, with a proposed penalty of $17,500.

The willful violations include the company's failure to implement a Mechanical Integrity program and Management of Change procedures when operating procedures were modified; failure to implement a program designed to protect workers required to enter a permit-confined space; and failure to implement the company's lockout/tagout program.

The serious violations address the company's failure to properly guard a pit and an unguarded elevated walkway; failure to hold and document required training, failure to perform incident investigations and reviews, failure to conduct fit testing for an employee required to wear a respirator, and failure to include procedures for routine usage in the written respirator program.

"Each of these violations could have jeopardized the safety and health of workers at the plant," said Sutton. "It's critical that all potential hazards be eliminated immediately."

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