The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Albion Mill for five willful, nine repeat and 12 serious safety and health violations and one other-than-serious violation following a February inspection, according to a press release.
The Albion Mill, 73 Canal St., faces $195,460 in fines for 26 violations.
An inspection on Feb. 10, was a follow up to previous inspections conducted in 2013.
Inspectors identified willful violations when the company allowed employees without proper safety equipment to enter a grain-handling bin along with allowing machines to be operated with unguarded belts, pulleys and shafts.
Violations also included failure to develop or implement a housekeeping program to prevent worker exposure to combustible dust hazards caused by accumulated grain and feed products and did not maintain inspection certification records when servicing equipment.
The serious violations included:
–Deficiencies in lockout/tagout procedures and training.
–Unguarded machine parts.
–Use of damaged equipment.
–Employee exposure to fall hazards.
–Improper storage of propane cylinders.
–Workers permitted to enter grain handling facility bin without a permit.
–Lack of employee training on engulfment hazards.
“Our follow-up inspection at Albion Mill found employees continue to be exposed to severe combustible dust issues. In some areas, 6 inches or more of dust had accumulated, creating a dangerous risk of explosion,” said Theresa A. Naim, director of OSHA’s Erie Area Office in a press release. “This company had ample opportunity, time and guidance to correct the hazardous conditions but chose business as usual by disregarding the safety of its employees.”
A spokesman from Mattocks Five Inc., which owns the mill, disputes that statement, but had nothing more to say other than they are in the process of fighting the charges and fines.
Albion Mill is owned by Mattocks Five Inc., which operates five farm supply stores in Meadville, Albion, Waterford, Titusville and Warren.