OSHA News Release: [10/20/2011]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 11-1504-DAL
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Saginaw, Texas, grain handling facility of Minnesota company for 17 serious safety violations; fines total $57,000
SAGINAW, Texas The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Minneapolis-based Horizon Milling LLC for 17 serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards at the company's facility in Saginaw. Proposed penalties total $57,000.
"Employers are responsible for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. "It is very fortunate that no one was hurt at this facility."
OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office initiated its inspection as part of OSHA's emphasis program for grain handling facilities. The investigation found that Horizon Milling exposed workers to unsafe working conditions while involved in shipping and receiving, flour blending, maintenance and other operations at the company's facility on East Industrial Boulevard.
The serious violations include failing to enclose or guard sprockets and chains; guard pulleys 7 feet or less from the floor; ensure coverings were provided for panel, electrical pull and junction boxes; guard or enclose vertical belts and rotating shafts; provide strain relief on electrical circuits; ensure that exit access areas are at least the required 28 inches in width; provide at least two means of escape from galleries or bin decks; and install a mid-rail in the overhead storage location. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Horizon Milling, which employs about 85 workers at its Saginaw facility, has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Fort Worth or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency's Fort Worth Area Office at 817-581-7303.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.