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OSHA cites Mullens supermarket for safety hazards

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has  cited Wayne's Supermarket Inc. for safety hazards at its grocery store in Mullens.

OSHA's investigation, which began in September in response to a complaint, resulted in $32,200 in proposed fines.

Investigators found 10 serious violations, which carry a $30,800 penalty, involving electrical hazards, exits routes that weren't marked appropriately and workers not wearing cut-resistant gloves when cutting meat, as well as the need to do a hazard assessment to determine whether workers need personal protective equipment, train employees on the use of personal protective equipment and powered industrial trucks, and provide them with material safety data for each hazardous material onsite.

In addition, the company failed to provide an eyewash station or ensure workers used eye protection when handling corrosive materials; provide portable fire extinguishers in all work areas, properly train workers exposed to hazardous materials on-site, complete a written hazard communication program, ensure guarding on the unused portion of the blade on the meat cutting bandsaw, and ensure usage of provided hand tools during meat cutting operations. A serious violation is one involving a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Five other-than-serious violations, with a $1,400 penalty, include failing to maintain OSHA 300 injury and illness logs as well as guard overhead lights from physical damage. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"Grocery store employers are well aware of potential safety hazards facing workers while conducting day-to-day operations," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "Employers will be held legally responsible when they fail to identify and correct hazards that jeopardize worker safety."

Wayne's Supermarket Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director in Charleston, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.