Some say that OSHA’s bark is far worse than its bite. However, an Illinois pet-food manufacturer is finding that OSHA’s bite can be lethal.
The owner of All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc. told a local newspaper that the company is closing its doors because All-Feed can’t afford to pay the penalties that OSHA has levied for numerous safety violations. In May, the agency hit All-Feed with $254,000 in fines for exposing workers to combustible-dust and respiratory hazards.
“Having spent basically every penny that we have to come into compliance, there’s just nothing left for the citations,” All-Feed owner Tim Anderson told the Galva News.
All-Feed, which has its factory in Galva, Ill., and its main office in Alpha, Ill., will continue production for two or three months to fulfill existing contracts with its customers, Anderson told the Galva News. However, the company won’t take on any new contracts.
According to All-Feed’s website, the company provides grinding, cleaning and packaging services to the pet-food industry, and it also offers R&D services such as granulation, dehydration, roasting and separation for new products or packaging.
OSHA inspected All-Feed’s Galva plant in November 2013, responding to a complaint. The agency cited All-Feed for one repeat and five willful violations, alleging that the plant’s high concentration of airborne dust created an explosion hazard and could cause workplace-induced asthma and other illnesses.
The November 2013 inspection was the most recent in a slew of OSHA inspections dating back to January 2011, which landed All-Feed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“All-Feed Processing and Packaging continues to demonstrate a complete disregard for the health and safety of its workers by failing to protect them from combustible dust hazards. These can ignite quickly – without warning – and can cause catastrophic damage,” Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria, said in May 2014. “The employees at All-Feed deserve an employer that cares about their safety, and this company keeps failing to provide that.”
Anderson told the Galva News that the company has not laid off or terminated any of the factory’s 20 workers, but All-Feed has reduced their hours.