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Region 8 News Release 10-1357-DEN (10-300)
Sept. 30, 2010
Contact: Michael Shimizu Rich Kulczewski
Phone: 206-553-7620 303-844-1302

US Labor Department's OSHA fines J.R. Simplot Co. of Boise, Idaho,
$59,000 for safety and health violations at Grand Forks, ND, site

BISMARCK, N.D. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued J.R. Simplot Co. of Boise, Idaho, one repeat and 12 serious workplace health and safety citations at its facility in Grand Forks, N.D. Proposed penalties total $59,000.

OSHA's area office in Bismarck began an investigation in April 2010 as a result of the facility appearing on OSHA's 2009 Site-Specific Targeting inspection program. The company is a major food processor and fertilizer manufacturer.

"A repeat citation was issued for the company's failure to perform inspections and tests on process safety management equipment," said Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area office director in Bismarck. "This repeat citation stems from a similar hazard cited during a previous OSHA inspection at the company's facility in Pocatello, Idaho."

A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

The serious citations involve the company's failure to follow process safety management-related good engineering practices, provide fall protection, perform crane inspections, provide proper machine guarding and eliminate electrical hazards. An OSHA violation is considered serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

J.R. Simplot Co. 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