October 23, 2018

OSHA Slaps Schwan’s With $185,700 in Fines

oshaThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has hit Schwan’s Global Supply Chain Inc. with $185,700 in fines for safety and health violations at its Atlanta plant. Two other companies that supply maintenance and staffing to Schwan’s, Cimco Refrigeration Inc. and Adecco USA Inc., were also fined. Together the fines for violations that put workers at the plant in harm’s way total $264,360.

Schwan’s, a Minnesota-based company that employees 14,000 people nationwide, makes frozen foods under a several brand names including Red Baron pizza and Mrs. Smith’s desserts. The 494 workers at the Atlanta facility produce dough, cookies and pie crusts.

OSHA inspectors found that workers at the plant were not properly trained in safe work practices for ammonia refrigeration systems and unprotected from dangerous exposure to ammonia and electrical hazards. They also found blocked and mismarked exits in hazardous areas. In all, inspectors found 32 serious violations, meaning violations where there is “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.”

“All workers, whether full-time or temporary, deserve the same commitment and access to a safe workplace. Schwan’s, Cimco Refrigeration and Adecco are not providing that for their employees,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office in a statement. “OSHA standards are there to protect workers from predictable and preventable injuries and deaths. These standards were disregarded at the expense of worker safety.”

Temporary workers supplied to Schwan’s through Adecco of Melville, NY, were exposed to 12 serious safety violations including noise and unguarded machines and platforms that created a fall hazard. Adecco was fined $58,500.

Cimco, which provided service and maintenance for the ammonia refrigeration system at the plant, was cited for six serious safety and health violations including noise exposure and failure to provide adequate training, properly fitted respirators and clearly marked exits. Cimco was fined $20,160.

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