OSHA Cites San Antonio-Based Produce Company For Exposing Workers To Electrical Hazards

                               San Antonio, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fresh From Texas with eight serious violations for exposing workers to numerous electrical hazards at the company's facility in San Antonio, as well as two other-than-serious violations for inadequate record keeping. Proposed penalties total $40,500.

"Electrical hazards can lead to the loss of a worker's life by electrocution. OSHA will not tolerate an employer failing to take responsibility for keeping the workplace safe," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in San Antonio. "Fortunately, in this case, no one was injured."

The serious violations include failing to ensure that workers were provided with adequate working space around electrical equipment and that the working space was not used for storage, properly cover electrical equipment such as condenser units, ensure high-voltage equipment was not exposed to forklift traffic, protect electrical circuits from overload to prevent a possible fire and remove damaged electrical cords from service. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations include failing to adequately describe occupational injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log and properly certify the OSHA 300A summary form for injuries and illnesses. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

The company employs about 150 workers who package and transport produce from the San Antonio site. It has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321- OSHA (6742) or the agency's San Antonio Area Office at 210-472-5040.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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