Another example of just how expensive safety oversights can be: A frozen food manufacturer was hit with multiple safety violations and a six-figure fine after three workers at its Kansas plant suffered injuries so severe they required amputations and a third woman broke her hand and was badly burned.
“Three women’s lives were dramatically altered because their employer failed to protect them from hazardous operating machine parts,” said Judy Freeman, OSHA area director.
Regulators issued three repeat, four serious and one other-than-serious violation carrying $172,000 in penalties to Schwan’s Global Supply Chain Inc., Salina, KS, for failure to guard machines, provide properly fitting PPE and correct other hazards.
- On Aug. 11 a 55-year-old worker was picking up pizza crumbs and crust that had collected around the oven when her work glove was caught in the unguarded conveyor chain and sprocket drive assembly. Surgeons had to amputate her right hand. She was unable to work for 55 days.
- On Sept. 30 a 49-year-old employee reached into the area of the conveyor to clear a jam of pizza pans. She sustained a laceration, fractures and burns to the palm of left hand. Investigators determined safety guards were not installed on operating parts between the top and bottom conveyors. The machine should have been prevented from operating while unjamming the pizza pans. She was unable to work for 46 days following the injury.
- On Oct. 23 a 55-year-old employee was walking under a conveyor in the bakery area, when she reached up to get her balance. As she attempted to stand, her hand inadvertently contacted an unguarded chain and sprocket on the underneath side of a conveyor. As a result, the employee’s middle finger on her left hand was de-gloved and amputated.