PA Feed Mill Facing Safety Fines

Thursday, August 11, 2016 @ 06:08 PM gHale


Mattocks Five Inc., doing business as Albion Mill, is facing $195,460 in fines for 27 health and safety violations at its Albion, PA, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued citations to Albion Mill for five willful, nine repeat and 12 serious safety and health violations, and one other-than-serious violation.

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OSHA’s inspection on Feb. 10 was a follow up to previous inspections conducted in 2013.

“Our follow-up inspection at Albion Mill found employees continue to be exposed to severe combustible dust issues. In some areas, 6 inches or more of dust had accumulated, creating a dangerous risk of explosion,” said Theresa A. Naim, director of OSHA’s Erie Area Office. “This company had ample opportunity, time and guidance to correct the hazardous conditions but chose business as usual by disregarding the safety of its employees.”

Inspectors identified willful violations when the company:
• Allowed employees without proper safety equipment to enter a grain-handling bin
• Allowed machines to operate with unguarded belts, pulleys and shafts
• Failed to develop or implement a housekeeping program to prevent worker exposure to combustible dust hazards caused by accumulated grain and feed products
• Did not maintain inspection certification records when servicing equipment

Inspectors also found repeat violations that included:
• A lack of annual employee training on use of portable fire extinguishers
• An unguarded, 28-inch deep pit
• Electrical hazards
• A lack of worker chemical hazard training
• No written and implemented hazard communication program
• An absence of lockout/tagout procedures, which prevent accidental machine start-up or movement

The serious violations included:
• Deficiencies in lockout/tagout procedures and training
• Unguarded machine parts
• Use of damaged equipment
• Employee exposure to fall hazards
• Improper storage of propane cylinders
• Workers permitted to enter grain handling facility bin without a permit
• Lack of employee training on engulfment hazards

An unguarded pit resulted in the other-than-serious violations.