Amputation Hazards Add Up to $77,100 in Fines for Food Firm

OSHA's Houston South Area Office initiated a safety inspection Sept. 1 following a complaint alleging that several employees had suffered near amputation incidents while operating machinery.

OSHA has cited Houston-based Amy Food Inc. with one willful, four serious, and three other-than-serious citations for exposing workers to possible amputation hazards at the company's Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $77,100.

OSHA's Houston South Area Office initiated a safety inspection Sept. 1 following a complaint alleging that several employees had suffered near amputation incidents while operating machinery. The investigation found that not only did the company fail to have an energy control program in place, machines were not being unplugged from the electrical power source prior to maintenance and servicing.

The willful violation has been issued for failing to develop, document, and utilize an energy control program.

The serious violations include failing to provide required machine guarding on chains and sprockets, cover floor holes and openings, and adequately mark exit doors.

The other-than-serious violations involve inadequate recordkeeping of injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log.

"This company exposed its workers to injuries, including possible amputation hazards, by failing to develop, document, and utilize an energy control program during the maintenance and servicing of machinery," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "Employer disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated."

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