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OSHA Fines Wegmans $195K

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Wegmans Food Markets here for what it described as "alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards" at the retailer's corporate bakery and distribution center here.

OSHA said Wegmans faces a total of $195,200 in proposed fines, primarily for inadequate safeguards to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance. The administration's inspections determined that Wegmans "failed to develop, utilize and follow" certain procedures related to "lockout/tagout"protocols designed to prevent injury related to the unexpected startup of equipment, and also did not adequately train workers on these procedures.

"The fines proposed for these violations are significant because this employer previously has been cited for similar hazards," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for western New York. "For the safety and health of its workers, Wegmans must take effective action to ensure that proper lockout/tagout safeguards are in place and in use at all of its locations."

Wegmans officials could not immediately be reached for comment, but in a prepared statement issued to a local media, the chain said it "immediately addressed the majority of issues" that were brought to its attention by the inspection, and was "working on others."

"A review of the citations is underway to determine our next steps," the company was quoted as saying.

Wegmans has 15 days to comply, meet with OSHA's area director in Buffalo, N.Y., or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.