OSHA News Release - Table of Contents
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 2 News Release: 12-385-NEW /BOS 2012-039
March 14, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2075
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Agro Farma for 34 violations of
workplace safety and health standards; proposes $178,000 in fines

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Agro Farma Inc. for 34 alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards at its New Berlin facility. The manufacturer of Chobani Greek Yogurt faces a total of $178,000 in proposed penalties following inspections by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office that were prompted by a complaint.

"Our inspections identified a wide range of mechanical, chemical, electrical and health hazards that, left uncorrected, expose the plant's employees to being caught in moving machine parts or unexpectedly energized machinery, electrocution, falls, being overcome in toxic or oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and hearing loss," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse.

OSHA found numerous instances of unguarded moving machine parts; electrical hazards, including failing to train employees in electric safety-related work practices; a lack of personal protective equipment for employees working on live electrical equipment; a lack of fall protection for employees accessing the top of milk trucks; missing or inadequate energy control procedures and training for employees cleaning a trash compactor; failing to label all confined space work areas and provide confined space training; wet floors; unguarded floor holes; railings not provided over dangerous equipment; and stairway and exit deficiencies.

The inspection also identified deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program, which prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in