JACKSON, AL — When employers disregard safety measures and fail to properly supervise employees, the risks of serious injuries or illnesses increases – this is exactly the scenario that OSHA inspectors discovered during an investigation at iSpice LLC, a global spice importer, processor and supplier based in Jackson, Alabama. OSHA found workers exposed to amputation, struck-by, crushed-by and electrical hazards. The company faces $121,511 in penalties.
OSHA determined that the employer allowed workers to clean mixing machines without using a lockout device that prevents the machines from starting unexpectedly during service and maintenance. iSpice also failed to implement energy control procedures, train workers on lockout/tagout practices and use machine guarding to keep employees protected from a rotating portion of the mixer.
In addition, iSpice allowed workers to use powered industrial trucks with a damaged seatbelt – exposing them to struck-by and crushed by hazards – and failed to make sure the drivers were competent to operate the equipment. The employer also exposed workers to electrical hazards by allowing multiple boxes and outlets that were uncovered or lacked faceplates and used a fan with an exposed splice in the cord.
“This employer put their employees at serious risk needlessly by failing to provide training and implement well-known protections,” said OSHA Area Director Jose Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama. “These protections are not optional, they are every workers right.”
The company 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.