OSHA Cites Maine Employer For Various Safety Violations

OSHA cited Interstate Brands Corp., Biddeford, Maine, for alleged\r\nserious, repeat and other safety violations, and has proposed\r\npenalties totaling $108,000 for those violations.

OSHA cited Interstate Brands Corp., Biddeford, Maine, for alleged serious, repeat and other violations of the OSH Act, and has proposed penalties totaling $108,000 for those violations.

According to C. William Freeman, OSHA area director for Maine, his office began an inspection of the company''s facilities on Sept. 8, 2000, in response to a formal complaint filed by the union representing the company''s employees.

Interstate Brands Corp. produces bakery products such as bread, rolls, donuts and pies under the brand names of Nissen, Hostess and Wonder.

Freeman noted that the inspection revealed a number of hazards in the plant, ranging from open-sided floors and unguarded floor holes, to unguarded machinery and serious deficiencies in the control of hazardous energy.

The company is being cited for 15 alleged serious violations including:

  • failure to develop specific procedures for shutting down, isolating and securing equipment to be locked out;
  • open sided floors or platforms;
  • unguarded floor holes;
  • unguarded equipment; and
  • employees exposed to live electrical parts and bulbs.

Noting that Interstate Brands employs 620 workers at its Biddeford facility and more than 34,000 employees nationwide, Freeman said, "This is a big employer with lots of previous OSHA history. The company is well aware of the safety and health standards which apply to its operations and is more than aware of the precautions it should be taking to protect its workers. There is simply no excuse for the hazards we found in this facility."

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to either comply or contest them.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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