Cola bottler blasted for repeat electrical safety violations
By Anthony Capkun
February 14, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. for seven workplace health and safety violations at its Franklin Furnace, Ohio, plant, carrying proposed penalties of $86,900.
“This company consistently failed to protect its workers and implement basic safety requirements,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health, and that is unacceptable when employee safety is on the line.”
OSHA initiated an inspection of the plant in July 2013 under its Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets facilities with higher-than-average illness and injury rates.
Two repeat safety violations involve failing to ensure that employees utilize appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with electrical sources and implement lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures to prevent the unintentional startup of equipment during maintenance and servicing. (These same violations were cited in 2009 at the company’s Hamilton facility.)
Five serious safety citations were issued to the company. Two of those violations involved failure to use LOTO procedures. The remaining three included failing to perform hazard assessments related to PPE, failure to use appropriate protective equipment and failure to perform annual fit testing to ensure employees wore respirators.