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March 20, 2024
New Jersey food manufacturer facing $463K OSHA fine

Aunt Kitty’s Food Inc., a Vineland, New Jersey, subsidiary of Hanover Foods Corp., is facing $463,224 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for one willful, two repeat, and four serious violations, the agency announced March 12.

Aunt Kitty’s Food allowed workers to service and clean equipment without having procedures in place to stop machinery from starting unexpectedly, federal investigators found.

OSHA cited Aunt Kitty’s Food Inc. for violations that included failing to do the following:

  • Develop and follow a lockout/tagout program with written procedures for maintenance and sanitation staff working on and cleaning production equipment in the canning and filling department.
  • Keep the work floor in a clean and dry condition after food waste and water leaked onto the floor.
  • Provide proper guarding on a conveyor system.
  • Train workers on lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Conduct annual lockout/tagout audits on machines.
  • Provide baseline and annual audiograms.

The agency’s lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards are among its most frequently cited rules. Last fall, the agency announced that the lockout/tagout standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.147) was its sixth most cited standard, cited 2,554 times in fiscal year (FY) 2023, and the machine guarding standard (§1910.212) was the tenth most cited standard, cited 1,644 times in FY 2023.

“Ensuring lockout/tagout procedures are established and used can make the difference between an employee ending a shift safely and suffering a serious, life-altering injury,” Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA’s Marlton, New Jersey, area office director, said in an agency statement. “Our investigation found Aunt Kitty’s Food failed to provide a safe and healthful workplace and we will hold them legally accountable.”

OSHA settles with Long Island contractor for $144K

An East Patchogue, New York, construction contractor will pay $144,000 in penalties and implement enhanced compliance actions and policies to reduce workplace hazards for its companies’ and subcontractors’ employees as part of a stipulated settlement agreement with OSHA, the agency announced March 13.

OSHA cited Northridge Construction Corp. on June 5, 2019, for willful and serious fall protection, struck-by, and electrical violations following the December 8, 2018, death of an employee. The employee fell 12 feet while walking on the roof panels of a partially completed structure in East Patchogue.

Northridge Construction contested OSHA’s citations to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Labor Department and Northridge Construction reached a settlement that upholds OSHA’s citations and requires the company to pay $144,000 in penalties for its violations. The stipulated settlement agreement also includes enhanced abatement requirements that apply to all construction companies that Northridge Construction Corp. owner Tim Kaywood owns, manages, and field supervises or for which he serves as an officer.

The abatement enhancements require all of Kaywood’s companies to:

  • Perform a pre-job hazard assessment, and use a daily safety inspection checklist for all jobs.
  • Ensure all forepersons have received OSHA 30-hour safety training and all field employees have received OSHA 10-hour safety training. 
  • Impose safety planning, training, and inspection mandates on their subcontractors.

“While no settlement can restore a worker’s life, it can result in enhanced practices and procedures designed to save others,” Kevin Sullivan, OSHA’s Westbury, New York, area office director, said in a statement.

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