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Milk Specialties Co. agrees to penalties

Milk Specialties Co. agrees to penalties
As a part of the legal settlement between OSHA and Milk Specialties Co. in Whitehall, the later has agreed to a pay a sum of $535,000 as the penalties. This happened after the company was cited for willful, repeat as well as serious safety violations that concern combustible dust hazards, untrained workers working in potentially dangerous locations and limited permits for working in confined areas.

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA said, "We are pleased that Milk Specialties Co. has recognized and agreed to abate the health and safety violations addressed in the settlement. "Our number one concern is to ensure the safety and welfare of all workers. With this agreement, I am confident the company is moving in the right direction."

The inspection was conducted in December 2008 by OSHA in response to a complaint which allege numerous safety hazards at the whey processing plant of the company. The employer’s failure to comply with the agency’s confined space entry as well as control of hazardous energy requirements was cited as a serious violation. Again untrained workers entering the confined spaces and performing maintenance and cleaning on live equipment without power protection from numerous hazards was also noted during the inspection. There were about nine willful violations and a total cost of $504,000 was set for the penalties.

If the violation concerns death or injuries that are caused from hazards that an employer knows or should have known that it existed, it can be serious and the penalty can be quite huge.

Since 1974, Milk Specialties has been inspected by OSHA 15 times, that include 4 inspections between 2006 and 2008 in Wisconsin. The citations resulted from many of the same safety and health hazards which are cited in the most recent inspection.