July 17, 2008

OSHA Fine for 4-Bros Dairy in Shoshone Reduced

By Cassidy Friedman, The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

Jul. 17--Owners of 4-Bros Dairy in Shoshone have negotiated with a federal agency to shrink a proposed $2,500 citation to $1,700 for failing to maintain a safe work place, an agency official said Tuesday.

The citation also requires that the dairy take corrective measures to avoid future incidents, the official said.

The allegations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came in late June after a trucker was crushed March 7 under a collapsed silage stack.

After meeting on July 8 with OSHA officials in Boise, owners of the dairy signed off on the revised citation, called an informal settlement agreement, said Kiely Parker, an OSHA industrial hygienist.

Parker said the dairy has already paid the fine. He said he did not know if the dairy had taken corrective action.

The original citation called the violation "serious" and ordered the dairy to:

--Establish and enforce "restricted areas in the vicinity of all silage faces (i.e. zone off the hazardous areas and post warning signs with appropriate directions for both the onsite and offsite employees)."

--Establish and implement "feed-out safe work practices to prevent undercutting the silage face which may include smaller horizontal silos" and ensure "the silage face slopes back toward the pile, thus avoiding an overhang."

The informal settlement agreement added the dairy must:

--Implement written procedures before Aug. 1 that "minimize the risks of large silage pits to employees."

--Until Dec. 31, 2009, report any "significant work-related employee injuries and illnesses" to OSHA within 48 hours after the dairy's owners become aware of the issue.

--Consent to a follow-up inspection within the next year.

--Post this settlement in a prominent place accessible for employee viewing until the dairy corrects its violations or for three working days.

Lastly, the agreement says that despite agreeing to the terms of the settlement, the dairy owners deny the allegations -- a step aimed at protecting the employer from potential litigation claims.


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