Safety Issues at Chocolate Maker

Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 06:08 PM gHale

Tsudis Chocolate Co. Inc. is facing $87,260 in fines for 19 safety violations at its Pittsburgh, PA, manufacturing facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA opened its February inspection after an employee sustained crushing injuries to the right hand and wrist because a machine inadvertently activated while he set it up. The inspection was in accordance with OSHA’s Emphasis Program on Amputations.

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“Tsudis Chocolate could have prevented this unfortunate incident by having the proper hazardous energy controls in place,” said Christopher Robinson, director of the OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office. “It is vital that the company abate these hazards as soon as possible to protect the safety of its workers.”

Three repeat violations, with a penalty of $27,860, were for the company’s failure to properly guard points of operation on machinery; provide appropriate electrical protective equipment when employees worked on energized electrical parts; and ensure containers had labels, tags or markings with the identification of the hazardous chemicals. The company faced similar violations in 2011. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Twelve serious violations, with a $59,400 penalty, were for failing to address electrical hazards; create energy control procedures for equipment; conduct a periodic inspection of the energy control procedures at least annually; and provide training to authorized employees on the recognition of applicable energy sources in the facility. Other violations included failing to provide adequate machine guarding on equipment and properly use or install listed or labeled electrical equipment.

Four other-than-serious violations were for the company’s failure to identify lockout/tagout devices to prevent inadvertent machine start-ups, anchor machines in fixed locations, provide adequate access to electrical equipment and ensure electrical equipment was not in wet/damp locations. An other-than-serious citation is when a violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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