OSHA cites Bruegger's Bagels after three workers hospitalized for overexposure to carbon monoxide
Employer name: Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Bruegger's Bagels
Inspection site: 2000 Cecil Ashburn Drive SE, Huntsville, Alabama 35802
Date inspection initiated: On Sept. 14, 2014, an exhaust fan in the baking area burned out, allowing carbon monoxide fumes from the bagel oven to exceed the safe exposure level. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated the investigation on Sept. 18, 2014, after being notified that three workers were hospitalized due to carbon monoxide overexposure.
Inspection findings: OSHA issued three serious citations to the employer for failing to: develop a written hazard communication program for workers exposed to hazardous substances; take steps to maintain carbon monoxide levels below the safe exposure limit; and ensure the carbon monoxide alarm in the baking area was working properly. Another citation was issued for failing to report the hospitalization of three workers to OSHA. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Quote: "The effects of carbon monoxide can overcome workers in a matter of minutes, causing headache, fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, loss of consciousness and suffocation," said Ramona Morris director of OSHA's Birmingham Area Office. "Employers must have protective procedures in place along with properly functioning safety equipment to protect workers from this toxic gas. In this case, workers were exposed to carbon monoxide levels that were three to five times the safe limits, requiring hospitalization."
Proposed Penalties: $26,000
View citations here:
Bruegger's has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Birmingham Area Office at 205-731-1534.