OSHA fines Twinkie plant $910,000 for asbestos

The maker of Twinkies and other bakery snacks has been fined $910,000 for allegedly exposing workers to asbestos during efforts to remove the cancer-causing agent from the workplace.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Washington, DC, cited Interstate Brands in Kansas City, MO, for alleged willful violations of regulations regarding asbestos exposure.

The violations allegedly occurred at the Schiller Park, IL, plant, which has about 370 employees. OSHA investigated after an employee telephoned with a complaint, finding that three employees had been assigned to remove thermal insulation containing 75% asbestos from a boiler. The employees were not told the insulation contained asbestos.

The company was cited for 13 willful violations and assessed the maximum penalty of $70,000 each.