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Safety Violations Uncovered: Hanover Foods Subsidiary Faces Penalties after Department of Labor Inspection

In a recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Aunt Kitty’s Food Inc., a subsidiary of Hanover Foods Corp. in Vineland, NJ, was found to have exposed employees to significant workplace safety hazards. The inspection, initiated in September 2023 following a complaint, uncovered multiple violations, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $463,224.

Violations Cited by OSHA

Among the violations cited by OSHA were instances of willful, repeat and serious safety breaches. These included the failure to implement lockout/tag out procedures for equipment maintenance, inadequate floor maintenance leading to unsafe conditions and insufficient guarding on conveyor systems. Additionally, workers were not adequately trained on lockout/tag out procedures. Also, required annual audits and audiograms were not conducted.

Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA Area Director in Marlton, NJ, emphasized the critical importance of proper lockout/tag out procedures, highlighting their role in preventing serious injuries. The investigation revealed that Aunt Kitty’s Food failed to provide a safe workplace, leading to legal repercussions.

Next Steps

Aunt Kitty’s Food Inc., which manufactures a range of canned goods under various brands, including Bickel’s Snacks and Castleberry’s, has been given 15 business days to respond to the citations and penalties. Options include compliance, requesting an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contesting the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

How SISCO Can Help

SISCO’s services extend beyond mere identification of safety issues. We can assist your organization in developing comprehensive Lockout/Tag out (LOTO) procedures and programs, ensuring that every aspect of equipment maintenance and servicing is properly addressed. Additionally, we offer specialized LOTO training programs tailored to your specific needs, ensuring that employees are well-equipped to handle machinery safely. Moreover, we can help in developing a Hearing Conservation Program, emphasizing the importance of protecting employees’ hearing health in noisy work environments. Our expertise also extends to evaluating your current LOTO program to ensure full compliance with regulatory standards, providing peace of mind and minimizing the risk of workplace incidents.

Reach out to an Advisor

This case underscores the significance of prioritizing workplace safety and compliance with federal regulations. Stay informed about OSHA guidelines and ensure your organization maintains a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.