HARVEY, N.D. (AP) — The federal government has fined a North Dakota flour business $30,000, alleging that the company repeatedly exposed workers to unsafe conditions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration began investigating Dakota Prairie Organic Flour in Harvey last October, the agency said Wednesday. The probe has resulted in citations for such things as failing to protect workers from electrical hazards and potential respiratory problems. Dakota Prairie was cited for similar hazards after two inspections that began in January 2009, the U.S. Labor Department agency said.
“This employer has demonstrated an indifference toward ensuring employee safety and compliance with OSHA regulations,” Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area director in Bismarck, said in a statement. “The hazards uncovered during this investigation are well-recognized in the industry.”
Grayson Hoberg, the company's chief executive officer, told the Minot Daily News that he takes issue with the findings because parts of the investigation were done while construction work was being done at the factory.
“Granted, there are going to be things not done in those rooms” while work was ongoing, he said. “If it's not correct at the time they look at it, it's a fault.”
Hoberg said it is not the first time he has raised the issue with OSHA.
The company has about 15 days to comply with the penalties or contest them.