The Tsudis chocolate company has been cited for 16 workplace safety violations by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a worker’s head got stuck in a machine.
OSHA has proposed fines totalling $84,000 on the firm for two repeat and 14 serious violations at its candy manufacturing facility in Pittsburgh, as part of OSHA’s inspection which ended last month.
Joanna Hawkins, Labor Department spokeswoman told ConfectionaryNews.com: “All violations were observed during an inspection at Tsudis Chocolate Co.
“This company needs to comply with the standards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
Asked how the incident occurred, Hawkins added: “The worker was performing maintenance on equipment when it unexpectedly cycled and his head got caught in the machine.”
Among the serious violations were 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 repeat violations included failing to provide workers with adequate training in safe energy control and electrical work practices and are a repeat of similar violations cited in October 2010.
OSHA began the inspection on 13 October last year after a worker sustained head injuries while setting up a machine that inadvertently became operational after Tsudis failed to implement adequate energy control procedures.
Tsudis, employs 135 workers at the site and has 15 days after receipt of the citations letter to comply with OHSA’s recommendations, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citation.
Accidental start up
Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA’s Pittsburgh Area office said: “A machine was not locked out to prevent the accidental start up that caused this worker’s injuries.
“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.”
ConfectionaryNews.com contacted Tsudis Chocolate Co. for comment but a response was not forthcoming prior to publication.