Breaking News on Dairy Processing & Markets

Sinton Dairy Foods Co. cited by OSHA for workplace violations

By Joe Whitworth+

14-May-2013

Sinton Dairy Foods Co. has been cited for 14 workplace violations with proposed penalties of almost $75,000.

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) cited the Colorado-based firm for 10 serious, two repeat and two other-than-serious violations.

OSHA began an inspection in November 2012 under its Site Specific Targeting Program that directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces, where high injury and illness rates occur, and the National Emphasis Program on facilities, covered under the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals.

Sinton response

The firm’s products include ice cream, cheese, butter, egg nog, Nordica Cottage Cheese, sour cream and dips, chocolate milk and fruit drinks.

In an emailed statement it said it took "immediate action" after the inspection of their operating facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  

“The company has already completed or will shortly complete remedies for the items identified in a recent OSHA news release. 

“Sinton will also meet with OSHA to fully outline and update its plan of corrective action.

“Sinton is fully committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees and works cooperatively with OSHA to ensure complete compliance with all standards.”

Violation list

The serious violations include a lack of accurate process information and documentation demonstrating that process equipment complies with recognized and accepted engineering practices; inadequate process hazard analysis revalidation; lack of adequate procedures for managing changes in process equipment and deficiencies in mechanical integrity of equipment, which could lead to the release of ammonia.

Other serious violations include fall hazards from elevated work areas, unguarded machinery and failing to provide properly designed electrical equipment for wet locations.

The two repeat violations were cited for failing to establish written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of the process equipment and exposing workers to live electrical parts.

A repeat citation is issued when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation at another facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Similar violations were cited at this same work site in 2009.

The other-than-serious violations include an ineffective evaluation for contractors working on chemical processes and for storing materials in front of electrical equipment.

"Abating OSHA violations is a sign that an employer wants to keep its workers safe, but in this case, the employer allowed these hazards to reoccur and continued to expose workers to possible fire and electrical hazards, among other dangers," said David Nelson, OSHA's area director in Greenwood Village.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and to comply, request an informal conference or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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