Chocolate maker enriches safety efforts

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Pete Tsudis, president and CEO of Tsudis Chocolate Co., is like a reformed sinner on the subject of safety.

Facing a potential $87,260 in fines for violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the company is now working to obtain OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program Certification, a rigorous standard of occupational safety.

In October 2011, a worker at the Tsudis Chocolate plant in O'Hara sustained crushing injuries to his right hand and wrist after a machine started while he was trying to set it up.

The federal agency conducted two plantwide inspections, finding a lack of guards on machines, hazardous chemicals that were improperly marked, a lack of protective equipment when employees worked on energized electrical equipment and the failure to anchor machines in place or ensure that electrical equipment was not located in wet or damp locations.

In a statement released Tuesday, Mr. Tsudis said it had been hard to manage the growth of the business that has nearly tripled in the last few years.

He said the OSHA penalties "have not been taken lightly."

"In fact, we have embraced our interactions with OSHA, and have become a better, safer company as a result of the inspection process," he said.

"We consider our safety programs, today, to be the strongest they have ever been -- and we look forward to seeing those programs evolve as our company continues to grow."


Ann Belser: or 412-263-1699.


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