Investigation by the US Labor Department uncovers that a food storage facility in Ohio subjected its employees to risks related to workplace ergonomics.

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Martin-Brower LLC, a food services warehouse located in Fairfield, Ohio, has been under scrutiny by federal inspectors for their high rate of worker injuries and illnesses. The warehouse is responsible for loading materials that are bound for fast food franchises in several states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers at Martin-Brower Co. LLC are at a high risk for musculoskeletal disorders due to the nature of their job. The workers are required to perform manual material handling tasks that involve repeated forceful exertions and awkward postures, which can lead to low back injuries. These injuries are categorized as ergonomic musculoskeletal disorders.

OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati, Ken Montgomery, stated that the agency found Martin-Brower Co. workers to be at a high risk for musculoskeletal disorders due to the frequency and duration of their work, as well as the weight of the materials they are required to lift. He also noted that work-related musculoskeletal disorders are one of the most commonly reported causes of lost or restricted work time.

The Fairfield facility’s injury rate was found to be nearly four times higher than the industry average for grocery and related wholesale products companies from 2020 to 2023. Additionally, the rate of severe ergonomic injuries at the facility was at least two times higher than the industry average for all categories of severe injury and illness cases during this time period.

As a result of their findings, OSHA cited the Fairfield warehouse for three serious violations and proposed $41,483 in penalties. The company was also issued four hazard alert letters. The violations included failing to provide a workplace free of known hazards, exposing workers to fire hazards, and exposing workers to struck by hazards.

Martin-Brower Co. has 15 business days to comply with the citations and penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The company, based in Rosemont, Illinois, can also learn more about preventing musculoskeletal disorders and injuries from OSHA.

In conclusion, the Martin-Brower LLC warehouse in Fairfield, Ohio has been cited by OSHA for their high rate of worker injuries and illnesses, particularly musculoskeletal disorders. The company has been given a deadline to address the violations and improve the safety of their workplace.  

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