Brunswick, Georgia-based frozen food manufacturer Rich Products Corp. received a citation on May 24 from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 23 safety violations and a fine totalling $80,000, according to a press release from the organization.
The company received citations for 20 serious violations, which include the failure to properly install safety signs, ensure that workers used appropriate protective clothing when working with hazardous materials, replace unsafe coolant and refrigeration systems, implement proper lock in/lock out procedures for energy sources and position guardrails in unsafe areas. OSHA issues a citation for a serious violation when there is a significant chance of injury or death resulting from a preventable hazard.
OSHA cited the manufacturer for three additional "other than serious" violations, including a failure to correctly document changes to safety policy and a lack of annual certifications for the company's coolant systems. The administration defines an "other than serious" violation as a health and safety issue that does not necessarily increase the chance of injury or death.
"This inspection identified a wide range of safety hazards that need to be eliminated in order to protect workers," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA director for the Savannah, Georgia, region, said the in the administration's press release. "It is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace."
Overhauling a company's safety code and practices may seem daunting at first, but the potential issues that may arise from failing to do so vastly outweigh the initial costs. Protective clothing like safety glasses and work gloves keep workers safe during hazardous tasks, while fall protection helps prevent unnecessary injury at the worksite.
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