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Wegmans faces nearly $200,000 in OSHA fines

Rochester Business Journal
October 25, 2011

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. has been cited for repeated and serious violations of workplace safety standards, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday.

The retail grocery chain, the second-largest private-sector employer in the Rochester area, faces fines of $195,200, primarily for inadequate safeguards to prevent the unintended start of machinery during maintenance, OSHA said.
 
The violations occurred at Wegmans’ corporate bakery and distribution center in Rochester, the agency said. Inspections by OSHA’s Buffalo office found Wegmans failed to develop, utilize and follow procedures, and to adequately train workers on hazards and procedures related to lockout and tagout procedures, officials said.

Wegmans also was cited by OSHA in 2007 and 2010, resulting in citations for four repeat offenses and potential fines of $140,000, officials said.

Citations for nine serious violations related to electrical, machine guarding, mechanical and ventilation hazards with bakery ovens, and a fall hazard in the distribution center, are subject to fines of $55,200, officials said.

“The fines proposed for these violations are significant because this employer previously has been cited for similar hazards,” said Arthur Dube, OSHA’s area director for Western New York, said in a statement.

“For the safety and health of its workers, Wegmans must take effective action to ensure that proper lockout/tagout safeguards are in place and in use at all of its locations.”

Wegmans has 15 business days after receiving the citations to react to the findings, officials said.

“The safety and well-being of our employees is a priority for our company,” Wegmans said in a statement. “We are always seeking ways to enhance worker safety through improvements or changes to our facilities and our processes.
 
“We immediately addressed the majority of issues brought to our attention as a result of the OSHA inspection, and are working on others. A review of the citations is underway to determine our next steps.”

(c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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