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Region 6 News Release: 14-635-DAL
May 5, 2014
Contact: Diana Petterson      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4710
Email: petterson.diana@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Texas fertilizer operator cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for safety
and health hazards following serious injury
American Plant Food Corp. cited for 12 violations and a proposed penalty of $181,000

AUSTIN, Texas – After a worker's leg was entangled in an auger in November 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the safety and health practices of American Plant Food Corp.'s Bartlett facility. OSHA issued citations for 12 violations and proposed a penalty of $181,000 for exposing employees to workplace hazards by failing to implement proper energy control procedures that protect workers who service or maintain machines.

"This worker's debilitating injury was preventable had the employer used certain safeguards," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "As an established company in this industry with long-term management in place, American Plant Food Corp. should not allow such dangerous workplace practices."

OSHA's Austin Area Office found that the company did not provide adequate training for workers entering confined spaces and encountering industrial machinery that could unexpectedly startup. Willful violations were cited for failing to ensure adequate safeguards were in place to prevent workers from coming into contact with the auger during servicing and maintenance. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The company was cited for nine serious safety violations, including failure to properly guard machines, elec