Snack Food Maker Busted Following Worker's Injury on Conveyor

OSHA opened an inspection in September based on a complaint that a worker had suffered sprains, multiple lacerations, and contusions as a result of having clothing become caught in a conveyor belt.

OSHA has cited Basic Grain Products Inc. with 13 safety violations for failing to ensure hazardous energy sources were secured, among other dangers. OSHA opened an inspection in September based on a complaint that a worker had suffered sprains, multiple lacerations, and contusions as a result of having clothing become caught in a conveyor belt that had not been properly locked out prior to maintenance and cleaning activities. The Coldwater, Ohio-based snack food producer faces proposed fines of $112,000.

Two willful violations with penalties of $70,000 have been cited for the employer's failure to develop and ensure machine-specific energy control procedures were used to control the flow of hazardous energy when workers were cleaning the conveyor system, which left them exposed to amputation and "caught-by" hazards.

Seven serious safety violations with penalties of $38,000 involve the employer's failure to provide guarding around floor holes, provide adequate assessments to determine if personal protective equipment was required, provide training on lockout/tagout procedures for hazardous energy sources, guard machines and shaft ends, certify that a workplace hazard assessment was performed, provide workers with safety glasses while they were cleaning with compressed air, and use compressed air for cleaning at a pressure of less than 30 pounds per square inch.

Four other-than-serious violations with $4,000 in penalties involve failing to properly complete the OSHA 300 injury and illness log for the years 2008 through 2011.

"Failing to develop and implement procedures to control hazardous energy by locking out equipment prior to cleaning operations exposes workers to amputation and caught-by hazards and demonstrates this employer's lack of regard for workers' safety and health," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

Prior to this inspection, the company had been inspected by OSHA five times since 2001, resulting in citations for 12 serious violations related to electrical safety, machine guarding, and a lack of hazard communication.

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