The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and J&J Snackfoods have reached a region-wide settlement agreement to improve workplace safety and health at the company’s eight food manufacturing and warehouse facilities throughout New Jersey and New York. Under the settlement, the Pennsauken, New Jersey-based company agreed to pay a $152,934 penalty.
OSHA cited the company in September 2018 after inspectors determined that the company exposed employees to serious machine hazards. OSHA issued willful and repeat citations for failing to train employees and utilize procedures to control hazardous energy when they perform servicing and maintenance work on machinery.
"This settlement shows the Department’s enforcement efforts leading to positive changes on important safety issues," said Regional Solicitor Jeffrey S. Rogoff, in New York. "A repeat violator with a history of safety problems related to machine hazards took responsibility and is improving those conditions across the region, beyond the violations identified by a single inspection at a single facility."
In addition to the penalty, J&J Snackfoods agreed to hire a full-time corporate safety director to manage and coordinate safety and health across all facilities, and a full-time site-safety manager to coordinate safety and health onsite at the facility. The company will also hire a qualified safety and health professional as an outside consultant to conduct two comprehensive safety and health inspections per year and implement a written safety and health program consistent with OSHA’s best practices guidelines. J&J Snackfoods will also provide employees with safety and health training in a language they understand and establish a safety and health committee comprised of employees, union representatives and managers to recommend further safety and health improvements.
"This settlement reflects a commitment to comply with required standards and ensure that employees are protected from hazards that pose a risk for injuries," said OSHA’s New York Acting Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson.
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 American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.