Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OSHA Gloves Come Off with Questionable Press Release

  • This is a very misleading OSHA Region 5 News Release]. There never was any repeat OSHA citations by the Eau Claire, WI Area OSHA Office for this newly acquired facility. The OSHA inspection took place less than 60 days after acquisition from SPF North America, a pet flavor and ingredient mfg. Additionally none of the citations resulted from many of the same safety and health hazards cited in the most recent inspections. Since there wasn't any recent inspections at the Milk Specialties Whitehall, WI facility

    tags: spray dryer, OSHA citation, press release

    • Four repeat violations with penalties totaling $21,800
      • These repeats are not from this Whitehall, Wi facility. Milk Specialties operates five other manufacturing plants in Wisconsin and Minnesota - post by comdust
    • citations resulting from many of the same safety and health hazards cited in the most recent inspection.
      • Very misleading. There was never any repeat citations by OSHA at the Whitehall, WI facility. The facility was purchased from SPF North America in October 2008 and the OSHA inspection took place less than 60 days later. - post by comdust

Milk Specialties Scientific Advisory Committee

  • Dr. Douglas Burrin, Baylor University
  • Dr. James Drackley, University of Illinois
  • Dr. Richard Hartel, University of Wisconsin
  • Dr. Al Kertz, Andhil LLC
  • Dr. Adam Lock, University of Vermont
  • Dr. Jack Odle, North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University
  • Dr. Wang Jiaqi, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Update 6/24/09 The Other Half of the Story

Manufacturing facilities with multi-sites should be aware that if a facility currently receiving a citation and has received an OSHA citation at another site within three years for the same violation will be considered as a repeat citation. Here is an excerpt from Andy Purvin a member of the Online Safety Community that describes the situation

I ran into this a lot at my previous employer. OSHA says since the company has a large enough communications network, relaying information between plants wouldn't be a hardship. Therefore, since they could have "learned" from the previous inspection citations, it technically IS repeat violations.

I argued similar points to yours, but lost. Companies that have multi-site designation are going to be held accountable to update all plants on Regulatory Activity. To combat this, at my current company, when OSHA "visited" one of our locations, I communicated the results to all and confirmed corrective actions had taken place at EVERY location to avoid repeat violations.

Here is additional helpful info that Bryan Haywood CEO & President, SAFTENG.net LLC shares with his comment on "repeat violations" at the LinkedIn Combustible Dust Policy Institute Group discussion:

"Although I can not speak to the question of "new ownership" I can state that a repeat citation can be issued to the facility if a different plant within the company that falls within Federal OSHA and NOT a state plan, has been cited for the same violation. The cited repeat violation does NOT have to have occurred at the same facility...just a facility within the company that falls under Federal OSHA, as I think was this case. You mentioned a MN facility and MN is a state plan, which means citations at the MN facility can NOT be used to issue repeats at a plant under Federal OSHA.

The change in ownership brings a new twist to OSHA's repeat citation policy. Basically, it is a new owner (e.g. new employer) and thus this new owner/employer can not be cited for the previous owners errors. Will be interesting to see if the business challenges these citations and if so if the OSHRC will vacate the citations.

Here is a link to OSHA's repeat citation policy for those interested in how FAR REACHING this policy can be.

[CPL 02-00-148] - Field Operations Manual (FOM)
You will want to go to Page 4-32, Section VII for the Repeat Citation guidance.


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