Mattocks Five Inc., doing business as Albion Mill, in Albion, Pa., has been cited by OSHA with five alleged willful, nine alleged repeat and 12 alleged serious safety and health violations, as well as one alleged other-than-serious violation.
OSHA inspected the facility on Feb. 10, as a follow up to previous inspections conducted in 2013.
“Our follow-up inspection at Albion Mill found employees continue to be exposed to severe combustible dust issues. In some areas, six inches or more of dust had accumulated, creating a dangerous risk of explosion,” said Theresa A. Naim, director of OSHA’s Erie Area Office. “This company had ample opportunity, time and guidance to correct the hazardous conditions but chose business as usual by disregarding the safety of its employees.”
In February, OSHA inspectors identified willful violations when the company allegedly:
- Allowed employees without proper safety equipment to enter a grain-handling bin.
- Allowed machines to be operated with unguarded belts, pulleys and shafts.
- Failed to develop or implement a housekeeping program to prevent worker exposure to combustible dust hazards caused by accumulated grain and feed products.
- Did not maintain inspection certification records when servicing equipment.
Inspectors also found alleged repeat violations that included:
- A lack of annual employee training on use of portable fire extinguishers.
- An unguarded, 28-inch deep pit.
- Electrical hazards.
- A lack of worker chemical hazard training.
- No written and implemented hazard communication program.
- An absence of lockout/tagout procedures, which prevent accidental machine start-up or movement.
The alleged serious violations included:
- Deficiencies in lockout/tagout procedures and training.
- Unguarded machine parts.
- Use of damaged equipment.
- Employee exposure to fall hazards.
- Improper storage of propane cylinders.
- Workers permitted to enter grain handling facility bin without a permit.
- Lack of employee training on engulfment hazards.
An unguarded pit resulted in the other-than-serious violations.
Total proposed penalties are $195,460. After receipt of the citations, Mattocks Five Inc. requested an informal conference with Naim, which took place on Aug. 8 and is still ongoing.