The Department of Labor has once again issued citations to Hanover Foods for endangering its workers with numerous safety and health hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor has once again found Hanover Foods Corp., a major food manufacturer with a history of unsafe workplace practices, in violation of numerous safety and health hazards at its Centre Hall facility in Pennsylvania. The company, which produces a variety of food products under the Hanover brand and other private labels, operates eight other manufacturing plants, including five in Pennsylvania, one in Delaware, one in New Jersey, and one in Guatemala.

In October 2023, inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened an investigation at the Centre Hall plant after receiving a complaint about hazardous chemical handling practices. OSHA cited the company for a total of 70 violations, including nine repeat violations, 51 serious violations, and 11 other-than-serious violations. These infractions were related to failures in the company’s Process Safety Management program, such as lack of training, failure to correct equipment deficiencies, and failure to establish an emergency plan for the entire plant. As a result, OSHA has imposed penalties totaling $761,876 on Hanover Foods Corp. This is not the first time the company has been cited for similar violations, as they were also cited at their Clayton, Delaware facility in 2019 and 2021.

According to OSHA Area Director Kevin T. Chambers, “Hanover Foods Corp. has once again put its employees at risk by failing to comply with federal and industry safety standards at one of its facilities.” He also stated that the agency will use all available resources to hold employers accountable for neglecting their legal duty to protect their workers from harm.

Chemical exposures in the workplace can lead to serious illnesses and even death. In fact, workers in the U.S. suffer from over 190,000 illnesses and approximately 50,000 deaths each year due to chemical exposures. To help employers and employees recognize and control these hazards, OSHA provides an overview of chemical hazards and toxic substances on their website.

Hanover Foods Corp. has 15 business days to comply with the citations and penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers can visit OSHA’s website for information on developing workplace safety and health programs, as well as for free assistance with complying with OSHA standards.  

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