U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

Brundidge, Alabama, condiment producer fails to correct previously identified workplace hazards; nearly $235K in penalties proposed


BRUNDIDGE, Ala. -- Supreme Oil Co.-South was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 safety and health violations following a March 2014 inspection at the company's oil production facility on North Main Street in Brundidge. OSHA initiated the inspection due to a complaint and to complete a follow-up to a previous inspection it conducted in March 2012. Proposed penalties total $234,960. Since 1994, Supreme Oil has had 11 OSHA inspections conducted at its Alabama and New Jersey facilities. In 2012, the Alabama facility received citations for eight safety violations.

'Workers continue to be exposed to safety hazards, such as falls, unsafe forklift usage and amputation hazards. I am disappointed to see these violations present after they had been identified during an earlier inspection,' said Joseph Roesler, director of OSHA's Mobile Area Office. 'Companies with more than one facility need to understand that a repeat violation is not just based upon the history of the site where the original violation occurred, and it can be based upon any of their locations covered nationally by federal OSHA. OSHA requires companies to communicate with their facilities corporate wide to ensure hazards are addressed at all locations.'

OSHA issued the repeat citations for the employer's failure to provide guardrails for staircases and open-sided platforms, maintain dry floors in areas where oil and water were mixed, and train workers to turn off machinery to prevent accidental startup while performing maintenance and services. Additionally, the employer exposed workers to being struck-by falling stock from damaged metal shelves, amputation and electrical hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The serious citations were issued to the employer for exposing workers to electrical hazards from improperly labeled wiring and not providing workers with the required training to operate an industrial truck. The employer failed to develop procedures to prevent accidental startup and to identify the energy shut-off valves properly on machinery. 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. View the citations at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/supreme-oil-company-south-962780_09_10_14.pdf*

Supreme Oil Co.-South, headquartered in Englewood, New Jersey, manufactures condiments, including salad dressing, mayonnaise and liquid oils. The company employs approximately 86 workers at this facility and 450 workers at two additional sites. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Alabama accounted for 84 of the 4,628 fatal work injuries* reported nationally in 2012. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov.

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 Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.

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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