Berry Plastics has been cited for six safety violations and placed in a severe violator enforcement program after a US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.
The violations, which include two repeat citations, follow a February 2012 complaint inspection at the Monroeville, Ohio facility, with proposed fines totalling $86,000.
In the past four years, the company has been inspected 12 times, resulting in 18 violations at various facilities.
The repeat violations were cited for failing to develop, document and utilize hazardous energy control procedures for machinery in the factory and conduct periodic inspections of these procedures.
Hazardous energy control procedures protect employees by requiring practices and procedures that prevent accidental startup for machines that are undergoing maintenance or servicing.
Berry Plastics was previously cited for these violations in 2010 at the company's Dunkirk, New York facility and in 2012 at the Alsip, Illinois site.
Because of the hazards and the violations cited, Berry Plastics has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.
OSHA's SVEP focuses on employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.
Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
Berry Plastics told FoodProductionDaily.com that the firm recived a notice of citation from OSHA on 12 March.
"Berry Plastics is currently conducting an internal investigation surrounding subjects raised in the notice, and plans to cooperate with and appropriately respond to OSHA with respect to this matter," said a spokeswoman in an emailed statement.
"Due to the current internal investigation of the matter, the company is not providing additional comment.
"Berry Plastics is dedicated to ensuring a safe workplace for its employees and respects OSHA’s efforts surrounding injury prevention."
Four serious safety violations were cited for failing to guard rotating parts on machines, use fixed stairs to access elevated areas of equipment, properly use fall protection equipment and provide electrical safety-related personal protective equipment.
Berry Plastics, headquartered in Evansville, Indiana produces plastic containers for use in the food industry and operates manufacturing facilities nationwide.
The Monroeville Facility is part of the company's Rigid Open Top Division and produces containers for a variety of markets.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference or contest the findings before an independent commission.