The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Philadelphia Macaroni for 13 alleged workplace safety and health violations—five of them repeat—at its Warminster facility. OSHA proposed $75,483 in penalties following a July 2013 inspection initiated under its Site-Specific Targeting Program that directs enforcement resources to workplaces with the highest injury and illness rates.
“The Site-Specific Targeting Program allows us to be proactive in identifying workplace hazards before an accident can occur,” said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA’s Allentown Area Office. “Each of the cited violations leaves Philadelphia Macaroni workers open to risks and needs to be fixed immediately.”
The repeat violations, with a $60,490 penalty, were due to electrical hazards, including the improper use of electrical equipment, blocked electrical panels and an opening in electric boxes, cabinets and fittings; a deficient emergency eyewash system; and use of an improperly configured guard designed to protect workers from lacerations while working with a band saw. The company was cited for similar violations in November 2008. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited 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.
Eight serious violations, carrying a $14,993 penalty, include deficiencies in the company’s program for controlling hazardous energy and electrical hazards. These hazards include exposed live parts operating above 50 volts and the use of a damaged flexible cord. 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.
Philadelphia Macaroni has 37 workers at this facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director in Allentown, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Allentown Area Office at 267-429-7542.