OSHA Uncorks Fine for Winery

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 @ 11:04 PM gHale

Highland, WI-based Spurgeon Vineyards and Winery LLC is facing a fine of $71,280 for 12 safety and health – including nine repeat – violations for failing to provide fall protection and a hazard communication program, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

“Employers are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their workplaces, and failing to take basic safety precautions to protect workers is unacceptable,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “Repeat violations portray a disregard for workers’ safety and health.”

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Seven repeat safety violations involve failing to protect workers from fall hazards greater than 4 feet on wine tanks and catwalks, implement and train workers on a lockout/tagout program to control the release of hazardous energy, possess proper guarding and interlocks on a wine bottling machine and provide forklift training, and well as for allowing workers to use damaged electrical cords.

Additionally, the company has been cited with two repeat health violations for failing to implement a personal protective equipment hazard assessment, provide a hazard communication program and training, and provide material safety data sheets for chemicals used in the workplace. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations occurred in July 2011.

Three serious safety and health violations cited include the operation of forklifts under lights without proper head room, a lack of eye protection and failing to evaluate the risk of ozone exposure. 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.

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