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OSHA Cites New Bedford Fish Processor For Serious Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a New Bedford fish processing plant for seven serious safety violations.

OSHA began investigating the operations at Sea Watch International Ltd. after a 35-year-old sanitation supervisor died in January after he was caught in the rotating parts of the shucking machine he was cleaning.

OSHA cited Sea Watch for failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures that protect workers who clean machinery. OSHA’s investigation found that plant employees were exposed to fall hazards and were not trained in up-to-date chemical hazard communication methods.

Also cited was Workforce Unlimited Inc., a temporary employment company in Johnston, R.I., for three serious violations for lack of lockout/tagout procedures, lack of chemical communication training, and for exposing workers to ladder hazards.

Proposed fines against Sea Watch total $35,410, while fines against Workforce Unlimited total $9,000. Both companies have 15 business days to comply, meet informally with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

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