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The $23,000.00 Sandwich

- December 8, 2017 by Renauld Wilson (View all posts by Renauld)

How much would you be willing to pay for a sandwich? As preposterous as it may sound, some people are willing to spend $214.00 for the “Quintessential Grilled Cheese” sandwich.  Several years ago, it was given the distinction of being the most expensive sandwich in the world.

Actually, the most expensive sandwich I’ve ever heard of was when an OSHA compliance officer cited the automotive shop of a car dealership after observing a service technician eating a sandwich at his workstation. The initial penalty for what was considered a “repeat” violation was $23,000! The OSHA regulation cited in this case was 29 CFR 1910.141(g) (2), which states, “No employee shall be allowed to consume food or beverages in a toilet room nor in any area exposed to a toxic material.”

The practice of eating and drinking in industrial environments, laboratories, and patient care settings is quite common.  Of course, no one would knowingly consume a toxic substance. However, employees may inadvertently ingest hazardous materials by eating, drinking, chewing gum, applying cosmetics, using tobacco or even taking medication in these environments. Toxic materials can settle on tables, drinking cups, exposed food and eventually ingested by employees.

The following strategies can help limit ingestion hazards:

  • Prohibit the bringing of food into shop areas, laboratories, and patient care settings.
  • If beverages are permitted in these areas, they should be kept inside closable top containers.
  • Designate break rooms that are not located on the shop floor.
  • Restrict the use of refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, etc. to designated break rooms.
  • Post “Food or Drink Prohibited in this Work Area” signs in eating-restricted areas.
  • Many companies overlook OSHA’s sanitation and housekeeping requirements. Hopefully, these tips will help you keep employees safe from eating the most expensive sandwich in the world.

    Please leave a comment below if you have had similar experiences and have found other solutions.

     

     
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