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SAFETY / OSHA - 8/31/11

Judge orders All-Feed Processing & Packaging in Alpha, Ill., to allow OSHA inspection or pay $500 per day fine

On Aug. 12, Magistrate Judge John Gorman of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois ordered All-Feed Processing & Packaging, Inc., to allow OSHA to inspect its facilities during normal working conditions or face significant fines. After finding the company in contempt for failing to allow OSHA to inspect its pet food research and packaging facility in Galva, Ill., the judge imposed a daily fine of $500 retroactive to May 4. The fines against the company will be purged once OSHA is allowed to conduct full-shift monitoring of employees' exposure to dust and noise under normal plant operating conditions without interference. In any event, the company is responsible for paying court costs and attorney fees.

Following a January inspection, OSHA's Peoria, Ill., Area Office cited the company for four willful and one serious health violation for repeatedly failing to provide respirators and monitor workers' exposure to dust at the Galva facility. Those violations qualified the company for placement in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which is intended to focus enforcement resources on employers with a history of worker endangering safety violations, thereby demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law. Employers in SVEP are subject to mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections at all of their worksites where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present.

"All-Feed Processing & Packaging's continuous failure to allow proper OSHA inspections, along with its history of severe violations, has led us to seek court intervention to ensure that its manufacturing facilities are safe for workers," said agency Regional Administrator Michael Connors in Chicago. "Employers have a responsibility to provide appropriate equipment and training to protect workers from respiratory hazards, and to ensure work environments are healthful and safe."

All Feed Processing & Packaging, headquartered in Alpha, Ill., has been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 2000, resulting in a significant enforcement action on five occasions. Those citations encompassed a total of 43 serious, 19 willful, five repeat and 10 other-than-serious violations, many of which related to failing to monitor and limit employees' exposure to hazardous dust.

Solis vs. All Feed Processing & Packaging Inc., Civil Action Number: 11-MC-01054-JBM-JAG

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