OSHA issues 15 safety violations to Midwest Biofuel in Wis.

By U.S. Department of Labor | April 24, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Midwest Biofuel LLC with 15 safety and health violations, including a repeat violation for failing to provide an eye wash station. A complaint prompted an Oct. 26 inspection at the organic chemical manufacturer's facility in Clinton. Proposed fines total $46,200.

"Midwest Biofuel has a responsibility to provide training and safety equipment such as respirators to workers in a manufacturing environment," said Kim Stille, director of OSHA's Madison office. "Repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to worker safety and health. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."

OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states with the last five years. A similar violation involving failure to provide an eye was station was cited in 2007, among a total of 18 violations.

The company has been cited with 12 serious violations for failing to use proper electrical equipment in the control room; correct deficiencies of its hazard analysis and operating procedures; investigate chemical releases; train workers engaged in chemical hazard clean-up operations; provide material safety data sheets for process chemicals; develop, implement and train workers on the permit required confined space program; evaluate fork lift operators; develop and implement a respiratory protection program, including fit testing; and provide medical evaluations for workers required to wear respirators. 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.

Two other-than-serious violations have been cited for failing to record injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log and post floor loading limits on a mezzanine used for storage. 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.

Midwest Biofuel has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Madison office at (608) 441-5388.

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. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.


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