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OSHA cites soda producer for repeat violations

By Joe Whitworth , 06-Feb-2013

A-Treat Bottling Co. has been cited with 14 repeat violations and fined almost $130,000 after an inspection by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA said the inspection at the Allentown facility from August 2012 to last month was conducted as a follow-up from an earlier check in January 2011.

Inspectors found 16 violations in total at the site, including 14 repeat workplace safety and health hazards, and proposed a fine of $125,895 for the repeat sanctions.

Repeated violations

The repeat violations included electrical hazards, failing to conduct baseline and annual audiograms; establish noise engineering controls; provide noise training; provide machine guarding, machine-specific hazardous energy control procedures and training; ensure means of egress was unobstructed; and ensure proper use of flexible cable.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously is cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at the Allentown facility in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

A number of violations, including sufficient access and working space around all electrical equipment and exit routes being kept free and unobstructed, were corrected during the inspection.

Others such as, failures in employee training on the Kayat machinery and lack of machine guarding where cardboard trays are assembled, had violation abatement dates of 7 March.

Other violations

One serious violation, carrying a $3,850 fine, involved improper material storage in an electrical service room.

One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was cited for a defective forklift on a powered industrial truck.

"By continuing to disregard OSHA standards, A-Treat Bottling continues to put its workers at risk of serious injuries," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office.

"OSHA will not tolerate employers jeopardizing the safety and health of workers."

A-Treat Bottling Co. has 15 business days from receipt to comply, ask to meet with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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