|N.Baltimore plant settles complaints over safety|
|Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor|
|Tuesday, 08 January 2013 11:03|
NORTH BALTIMORE - The Occupation Safety and Health Administration met with administrators from Bakery Feeds and has settled all complaints against the business.
An informal conference held Jan. 3 concluded with the North Baltimore business dropping an offense to a serious rating from a status of repeat offense. The business was fined $7,000.
The offense, stemming from a September incident, claimed the company did not provide fall protection equipment to employees clearing 20-foot duct work.
The company initially faced a $38,500 fine in the incident, due to the fact that a similar offense was filed at a Griffin Industries plant in Florida.
Griffin Industries, with home offices in Kentucky, is the parent company of Bakery Feeds, and has plants across the United States.
Bakery Feeds, located at 12850 Quarry Road east of Interstate 75, specializes in the recycling of inedible bakery waste such as bread, dough, pasta, crackers, cereal, bagels, sweet goods and snack chips, according to its Web site. The recycling process of drying, cleaning, mixing and milling operations turns these by-products into a corn replacement feed for livestock and poultry.
Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director with an office in Toledo, said everything was settled after the informal conference last week.
The company supplied information showing that the local safety offense was not the same as what happened in Florida, thus lowering the fine.
The company was also fined $5,500 for two violations for its industrial vehicles. The vehicles, one which had a hydraulic leak and an auxiliary light busted, and a second with a steering column broken, have been fixed.
The inspection for these complaints was initiated in September.
The complaints likely were made by an employee, according to Nelson.
"We have to have a reason to go into a facility," she said.
And, "they've given us all the information we need to show the hazards have been abated," she added.
Bakery Feeds and its parent company do have a history with OSHA in other states, but not here in Ohio, Nelson stated.
However, September was not the first time OSHA was called to the North Baltimore plant.
In December 2011, the company was cited for exposing employees to combustible waste products (dust) and explosion hazards while working at or near air-material separators. During that inspection, OSHA also found protective equipment was not provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition; that employees entering process equipment where combustible material was present, did not wear fire resistant clothing; and no caution signs were used to warn against hazards or to caution against unsafe practices. The company fixed the problem and was fined $17,000 by OSHA, according to reports provided by the department.
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