HIGHLAND, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Spurgeon Vineyards and Winery LLC in Highland, Wis., with 12 safety and health – including nine repeat – violations for failing to provide fall protection and a hazard communication program. The citations are the result of a follow-up investigation conducted in January. Proposed penalties total $71,280.
“Employers are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their workplaces, and failing to take basic safety precautions to protect workers is unacceptable,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “Repeat violations portray a disregard for workers’ safety and health. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job.”
Seven repeat safety violations involve failing to protect workers from fall hazards greater than 4 feet on wine tanks and catwalks, implement and train workers on a lockout/tagout program to control the release of hazardous energy resulting in an arc flash event, as well as allowing workers to use damaged electrical cords.
Additionally, the company has been cited with two repeat health violations for failing to implement a personal protective equipment hazard assessment, provide a hazard communication program and training, and provide material safety data sheets for chemicals used in the workplace. A repeat violation exists 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 five years. Similar violations were cited in July 2011.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Spurgeon Vineyards and Winery has 15 business days from receipt of its 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. The previous inspection was in 2011, and 24 violations were issued.
Tworkers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Madison Area Office at 608-441-5388.