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Pennsylvania feed mill cited for numerous safety violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently come down hard on a feed mill located in Albion, Pennsylvania. Reportedly, Albion Mill had previously been inspected by OSHA resulting in several possible citations. OSHA went back to the mill this past February and discovered that no efforts to correct hazards relating to workplace safety had been made. Specifically, Albion Mill incurred citations for the following alleged violations:

-- Five willful safety and health violations

-- Nine repeat safety and health violations

-- Twelve serious safety and health violations

-- One "other-than-serious" violation

The director of the Erie Area OSHA office stated that employees with the mill continue to work in areas containing severe combustible dust. She went on to say that in some places, the combustible dust measured six inches or more of accumulation, which poses a serious risk of explosions.

The federal safety agency also found that the mill allows employees to enter grain-handling bins without adequate safety equipment. Other safety allegations include worker exposure to dangerous and unguarded machinery, failure to remedy exposure to combustible hazards and use of damaged equipment. The repeat violations the mill allegedly failed to remedy include lack of worker training, numerous electrical hazards, absence of hazard communication program and the presence of an unguarded pit.

Reportedly, Albion Mill may be subject to more than $195,000 in penalties for the violations. The parent company, Mattocks Five Inc., reportedly met with the Erie Area OSHA director on Aug. 8. The meetings between the two are still ongoing.

Making sure that workplace safety remains a priority is the responsibility of all business owners, managers and supervisors. When they fail to do so and an accident occurs, the injured worker can explore his or her financial options by speaking with a workers' compensation attorney.

Source: EHS Today, "OSHA: Pennsylvania Feed Mill Allegedly Ignored Known Combustible Dust, Grain-Handling Hazards," Sandy Smith, Aug. 18, 2016

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