Employee Fatally Injured After Being Caught in Machinery at Alpha Baking Co.

OSHA cited the Chicago bakery for 6 serious violations

A 31-year-old engineer was fatally injured when his head was struck by an unguarded rotating gear arm on a piece of bakery equipment at Alpha Baking Co. Inc. OSHA has cited the Chicago baking plant for six serious safety violations following the tragic incident.

“It is unacceptable that Alpha Baking Co. would expose workers to unguarded machinery. This tragic loss of life could have been prevented by ensuring workers were not exposed to dangerous equipment without safety mechanisms,” said Angeline Loftus, OSHA’s area director at its Chicago North Office in Des Plaines. “Injuries involving machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability. OSHA continues to focus on identifying and eliminating these types of hazards.”

OSHA's inspection found that the employee, who had been with the company six years, was attempting to check the oil level of the encoder gear box on a bakery loader after the equipment was serviced. The machine guards had not been reinstalled following maintenance. He placed his head into the gearbox area to get a better view of the oil level when the gear arm unexpectedly rotated and struck him in the head, catching him between the machine's gear arm and frame.

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