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OSHA Fines Food Packaging Firm $200K for Safety Issues

Frozen fruits and vegetables packaging firm Arbre Group Holding – doing business as Holli-Pac Inc. – recently received several citations from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after investigators uncovered willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at the firm’s Holley, NY facility. The agency announced in an August 15 release that the company is now facing $200,791 in fines. 

According to OSHA, the company exposed its workers to laceration and amputation hazards on a packaging filler machine. The equipment lacked doors to block access to operating parts and an access door on one part of the machine did not have an interlock mechanism to stop the equipment when opened. 

Investigators also determined that Arbre Group Holding lacked adequate lockout/tagout procedures; failed to train workers on hazardous chemicals in the work environment; did not conduct annual audiograms for workers exposed to excessive noise levels; did not ensure that workers wore appropriate eye and face protection; and failed to repair damaged parts on electrical equipment. 

“Employers who do not comply with the law will see full and fair enforcement,” OSHA’s Buffalo Area Director Michael Scime said in a statement. “Maintaining a safe workplace involves employers regularly conducting analyses to find and fix hazards, and training workers to recognize those hazards before they cause injury or illness.”

Arbre Group Holding has 15 business days after receiving the citations to comply, request an informal conference with an OSHA area director, or contest the findings before an independent panel.

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