Eau Claire company cited for 5 violations by OSHA

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (MEDIA RELEASE) – MEDIA RELEASE:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Choice Products USA LLC for continually exposing employees to machine safety hazards at the cookie dough manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company faces $782,526 in penalties, and has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited Choice Products for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to install machine guarding, and comply with forklift regulations.

OSHA cited Choice Products for exposing employees to similar machine hazards following an October 2016 inspection.

“The company managers developed comprehensive lockout/tagout procedures following the 2016 inspection but failed to implement their own safety program,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator William Donovan. “Employers are required by law to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces.”

“Worker safety should be an employer’s top priority every day they’re open for business,” OSHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt said. “Employers who do not comply with safety standards will continue to face the full enforcement of the law.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.