OSHA’s Local Emphasis Program for Midwest Food Manufacturers [Webinar Recording]

On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, Conn Maciel Carey hosted a special bonus webinar in our 2023 OSHA Webinar Series regarding OSHA’s LEP for Midwest Food Manufacturers.

Presented by
Conn Maciel Carey LLP with Special Guest

 Steve Hawkins
(Former Head of Tennessee OSHA)

OSHA is now conducting inspections in Illinois (and Ohio) as part of a new Local Emphasis Program (LEP) for the Food Manufacturing Industry announced in late 2022. This LEP empowers Illinois OSHA offices to inspect food manufacturing and processing sites with a focus on machine guarding hazards, the employer’s hazardous energy control program, and the sanitation program (hazard communication and Group LOTO). OSHA has the ability under this LEP to conduct inspections for all referral and complaints, formal or non-formal, which contain allegations of potential worker exposure to serious hazards associated with operating food production machinery or performing service, maintenance, and sanitation tasks on food processing and ancillary equipment.

Establishments can be selected for an inspection even if they have an exemplary safety record, have not been the subject of any complaints, and have not recently reported a serious incident. This discussion covered what to expect and how to prepare your company for an OSHA inspection.

Attendees heard directly from FDR Safety’s Steve Hawkins, former Head of Tennessee OSHA, and Aaron Gelb, Head of Conn Maciel Carey’s Midwest OSHA Practice. Together they answered the following questions: Continue reading

Inspections Begin Under OSHA’s Local Emphasis Program for Food Manufacturers in Illinois and Ohio

By Aaron R. Gelb and Ashley Mitchell

Inspections have commenced in Illinois and Ohio under the the Local Emphasis Program (LEP) focusing on food manufacturers OSHA announced in October 2022.  This LEP reflects the agency’s ongoing efforts to ramp up targeted enforcement efforts and follows Regional Emphasis Programs (REP) initiated in Region V over the past two years dealing with exposure to noise hazards (June 2021) and transportation tank cleaning operations (August 2021), as well as the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on outdoor and indoor heat-related hazards which started in April 2022.  General industry employers in Region 5 still have to contend with the 2018 Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Local Emphasis Program as well.  A similar LEP targeting Wisconsin food manufacturers, with the primary difference being the NAICS Codes on which the two LEPs, began last Spring.  To date, OSHA has opened 12 inspections, but citation data is not yet available for those inspections.  Both LEPs mandate an inspection and review of production operations and working conditions; injury and illness records; safety and health programs; and hazardous energy control methods to identify and correct workplace hazards at all applicable inspection sites.

Why Is OSHA Targeting the Food Manufacturing Industry? Continue reading