GREENWOOD, Mississippi – Federal work safety regulators have slapped the more than half-century old Delta Oil Mill with a $83,415 fine after discovering 25 safety and health violations at the cottonseed oil plant.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated its inspection in May after receiving a complaint alleging a worker sustained a back injury after falling through a floor opening and landing on a powered industrial truck.
The workplace safety agency termed 22 of the 25 violations as “serious”
The “serious” infractions included failing to guard wall openings, opened-sided platforms and floor holes without a cover or standard railings. Regulators further cited the plant for failing to keep floors clean and dry of water and cotton lint and not providing specific procedures for controlling hazardous energy.
The list of violations also includes:
» Failing to document certification of periodic inspections of the energy control procedures;
» Failing to train employees on the company’s lockout/tagout program; provide training on electrical safety work practices;
» Failure to implement written electrical safety work practice procedures;
» Failure to post signage and safety symbols to warn employees of electrical hazards;
» Failure to provide employees confined space training before entering a railcar;
» Failure to inform workers of the hazards they face before entering a railcar.
» Allowing employees to use a forklift inappropriately to elevate workers;
» Allowing workers to enter a railcar without a retrieval line attached to the body harness;
» Blocking access to electrical boxes and several instances of unguarded equipment.
OSHA said it terms a serious violation an instance in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Three other-than-serious violations were also cited. OSHA said in these instances the mill did not have an OSHA 300-A form certified by a company executive and failed to ensure workers were wearing hearing protection.
“Our inspection found serious hazards that reflect management’s neglect of maintenance and safety procedures,” said Clyde Payne, OSHA’s area director in Jackson. “It is imperative that the employer immediately eliminate these hazards from the workplace to avoid another employee being seriously injured.”
Delta Oil Mill is a manufacturer of cottonseed oil, cottonseed meal, cottonseed hulls, linters, cottonseed meal fertilizer and whole cottonseed.
The cottonseed oil producer has 15 days to appeal.
The mill has functioned as a cooperative since 1949.
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