Temporary Worker Suffers Permanent Disability after Packaging Machine Crushes Him

OSHA cited Ice River Springs for serious and willful safety violations

A temporary worker was permanently disabled after a machine used to package cases of bottled water onto a pallet for shipment started up while he cleaned a jam in the machine, according to a news release from OSHA. The worker had been on the job for 12 days at the Ice River Springs plant in High Springs, Florida.

An OSHA investigation found that the employer allowed workers to enter the palletizer’s safety cage area and bypass two photo-eye safety sensors that served as machine safeguards. OSHA cited the water-bottle manufacturer for three safety violations.

"OSHA has received far too many reports of temporary workers injured or killed on the job, with some of these incidents occurring in the employee's first few days at work," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "It is critical that Ice River Springs and TempForce understand OSHA's newest initiatives to protect temporary workers, which must include shared responsibility by the host employer and the temporary staffing agency. These initiatives include taking effective steps to ensure that each temporary worker is sufficiently trained and monitored to safeguard them from the hazards of their new work environment."

OSHA issued a willful citation to Ice River Springs for failure to ensure workers were protected from moving machine parts during service or maintenance. The 41 full-time and temporary employees who work onsite were exposed to serious injury or death due to this violation.

Two serious violations were cited for failure to conduct an annual inspection of lockout/tagout procedures and for not training workers to recognize hazardous machinery or implement proper maintenance controls.

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