Oregon OSHA Cites Bakery in Crushing Injury

The agency announced it has issued a $28,125 fine to Portland Specialty Baking LLC for a grouped willful lockout/tagout violation.

After a worker's right hand was crushed Oct. 2, 2014, when he tried to unjam the dough hopper in a bagel dough chunker machine at Portland Specialty Baking LLC, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) investigated and has cited and fined the commercial bakery. The citation is for a grouped willful lockout/tagout violation; separate violations were grouped because they involve similar hazards and the cited employer conduct violates more than one code, according to the agency's inspection report, which said the 42-year-old employee was injured at 4 a.m. after placing a piece of dough over the machine's proximity sensor, lifting the machine's guard, and reaching into the running machine.

Portland Specialty Baking LLC has 250 employees, and dough jams happened two to three times per shift, with the company running three shifts, because of the high number of employees operating machines, the report indicates.

It also indicates that this company was cited in February 2008, November 2008, and in December 2014 after similar employee injuries occurred.

OR-OSHA investigators found that Portland Specialty Baking LLC did not adequately train the mixer operators, who are authorized employees under lockout/tagout, had no procedures for removing dough trimmings or dough jams, and does not follow through with retraining when there is reason to believe an employee's knowledge or use of energy control procedures is inadequate.

The fine was reduced 10 percent because of the company's size.

"Despite the pattern of injuries, this employer continued to ignore the rules that could prevent them, with what certainly was a careless disregard for worker safety," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "It might even be described as reckless."

The citation was issued Feb. 18. The company has 30 days to appeal the citation.

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