Safety Woes at Bottling Plant

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 @ 12:02 PM gHale

A-Treat Bottling Co. is facing $129,745 in fines for 16 safety and health violations, including 14 repeat, at its Allentown, PA, facility, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

OSHA’s August 2012 inspection was a follow-up from an earlier inspection in January 2011.

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The repeat violations, with a penalty of $125,895, are due to electrical hazards, failing to conduct baseline and annual audiograms; establish noise engineering controls; provide noise training; provide machine guarding, machine-specific hazardous energy control procedures and training; ensure means of egress was unobstructed; and ensure proper use of flexible cable. 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. Similar violations occurred at the Allentown facility in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

One serious violation, carrying a $3,850 fine, involved improper material storage in an electrical service room. 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.

“By continuing to disregard OSHA standards, A-Treat Bottling continues to put its workers at risk of serious injuries,” said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA’s Allentown Area Office. “OSHA will not tolerate employers jeopardizing the safety and health of workers.”

One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was for a defective forklift on a powered industrial truck. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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