OSHA Visit Not so Sweet for Chocolate Maker

OSHA cites Nestle Confections and Snacks for 32 alleged violations and proposed penalties of $62,450.

Many of us have seen the "I Love Lucy" episode that finds Lucy working frantically, trying to make chocolates on an assembly line. That job didn't turn out so well for Lucy, and apparently, some employees at a Fulton, N.Y., candy company found their workplace less than ideal.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Nestle Confections and Snacks for 32 alleged violations and proposed penalties of $62,450. The agency inspected the facility following a June 12 accident in which a worker's arm was amputated in a machine.

Nestle Confections and Snacks received a total of 27 alleged serious violations, two alleged repeat violations and three alleged other-than-serious violations of occupational safety and health standards.

The employer was cited was failure to provide adequate machine guarding for a variety of equipment, including rotating horizontal shafts, belts and pulleys. The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $44,950, according to OSHA area director Diane Brayden.

The plant was also cited for failing to label chemical containers with the identity of their contents and failing to post warning notices on hazardous confined spaces. Both were alleged repeat violations with a total proposed penalty of $17,500. The employer was previously cited for similar conditions at the plant in March, 2000.

OSHA also issued citations for failing to determine safe floor loads on an upper floor, failing to maintain fire alarms, and unsafe stacking of pallets and other materials. The three alleged violations were classified as other-than-serious.

A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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