Not So Sweet: OSHA Cites Pittsburgh Chocolate Company for 16 Safety Violations

OSHA cited Tsudis Chocolate Co. for two repeat and 14 serious safety violations at its Pittsburgh candy manufacturing facility and proposed more than $84,150 in fines. OSHA investigators determined a worker was injured because proper energy control procedures were not in place.

OSHA opened an inspection after a worker sustained head injuries while setting up operations on a machine that started up inadvertently.

“A machine was not locked out to prevent the accidental start up that caused this worker's injuries," said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office. "By not complying with OSHA's standards, this company continues to leave its workers vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injury and possible death."

The repeat violations involve failing to provide workers with adequate training in safe energy control and electrical work practices. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last 5 years. OSHA cited the company with similar violations in October 2010. Tsudis employs approximately 135 workers at the Pittsburgh facility.

The serious violations involve deficient energy control procedures, improper storage of materials, inadequate machine guarding, electrical hazards and failing to provide proper exits/means of egress. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer know or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with Szymanski or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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