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Pittsburgh chocolate manufacturer fined for repeat OSHA violation

Pittsburgh candy manufacturing company Tsudis Chocolates has been fined over $80,000 for violations of OSHA regulations. The fines come after an investigation by OSHA relating to a serious employee hand injury earlier in the year.

A worker inadvertently activated a machine while in the process of setting it up, crushing his right hand and wrist. This prompted an investigation of the factory by OSHA, who found 19 violations totaling $87,260 in fines. The safety hazards ranged from serious violations to those that don't threaten immediate injury. The serious violations included failures to protect "points of operation" on machinery, label chemicals properly and address electrical hazards. Some infringements were repeat violations, and the company was fined the prior year for similar violations of safety codes.

Tsudis Chocolates' President and CEO claims that the company takes safety very seriously and that there are opportunities for improvement in their safety. He points to a massive expansion in the last few years as a possible cause for the lack of safety management. An OSHA spokesperson believes that, based on their investigation, the most recent accident could have been avoided by having the proper safeguards for machinery in place.

An accident on the job due to an unsafe working environment can lead to serious injury, loss of the ability to work and missed time and wages. Employer negligence and failure to meet OSHA standards can create liability in the employer for any injuries suffered during work. An attorney familiar and experienced in workplace injury may be able to investigate the issue and help ensure a recovery of just compensation for injuries.

Source: Pittsburgh BusinessTimes, "OSHA fines Tsudis Chocolates $87K", Justine Coyne, August 13, 2013

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