We All Fall Down–Too True at This Cookie Maker Cited by OSHA for Safety Violations, Fined $221K

The cookie may not crumble, but these employees did at the warehouse that manufactures them, owing to the employer’s ignoring safety rules.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nonni’s Foods LLC for exposing employees to falls and other hazards at the Ferndale, New York, facility. The manufacturer of premium cookies faces $221,257 in penalties.

OSHA opened an inspection on Aug. 22, 2019, after learning that an employee fell on Aug. 7, 2019, and was hospitalized. Inspectors discovered that the employer instructed employees to retrieve stored material by standing on the forks of a forklift that elevated them to a storage area atop a break room. The storage area lacked guardrails to prevent falls. Both conditions exposed employees to falls.

Nonni’s Foods LLC also failed to re-train operators on appropriate use of a forklift, and did not report the employee’s injury to OSHA within 24 hours as required. Additionally, two rotating bearings on a conveyor lacked guarding to protect employees against caught-by injuries.

“Employers must provide training, and utilize appropriate equipment and work practices to protect workers from falls and amputations,” said OSHA Albany Area Director Amy B. Phillips.

OSHA’s Fall Protection in General Industry fact sheet summarizes employee fall protection measures and the Powered Industrial Trucks page provides detailed information on hazards, safeguards, training and safe operation of forklifts. OSHA’s Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Workers from Amputations booklet provide information on identifying and managing common amputation hazards when operating and using stationary equipment.

Nonni’s Foods LLC has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 help 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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