Alfa Laval faces nearly $500K in fines for Oklahoma safety violations

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OSHA finds 50 violations at Broken Arrow facility

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Alfa Laval Inc. faces $477,900 in proposed penalties after U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections discovered dozens of serious workplace safety violations, five of which were identified in previous inspections.

Federal investigators found five repeated and 45 serious violations on a range of health and safety issues at the company's Broken Arrow facility, including inadequate protection of workers from machinery, a lack of respiratory equipment and training for hazardous chemicals. Alfa Laval employs about 220 people there.

Alfa Laval also had no procedure to prevent machines from starting during maintenance or service, and failed to maintain written fire protection and emergency management plans. OSHA levied a $218,500 penalty for the repeated violations that it had cited the employer for in 2010 and 2011, and an additional $259,400 for the serious violations. OSHA has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

'Alfa Laval has no excuse for repeatedly exposing workers to dangerous conditions,' said David Bates, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City. 'A continued failure by the company to make needed changes to its safety program may well result in severe injuries or worse.'

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AlfaLaval_1012280.pdf*
and here http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AlfaLaval_1012281.pdf*.

A global provider of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling products, Alfa Laval employs about 18,000 employees at locations in Sweden, Denmark, India, China, the U.S. and France. The company serves industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol. Alfa Laval's products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, oil and gas exploration, in the mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications. It reported annual sales of $4.2 billion in 2014.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City, 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 Oklahoma City Area Office at 405-278-9560.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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