Failure to Implement Lockout/Tagout Leads to Partial Amputation, Fine at Food Facility

The facility was found to have not trained their workers on the importance of lockout/tagout when conducting maintenance activities.

The Occupational Health & Safety Administration has cited BEF Foods Inc., a food production and distribution facility, for failed lockout/tagout procedures during routine maintenance of machinery. The mistake led to a partial amputation of a 39-year-old worker.

According to a press release from OSHA, the worker found her arm caught in a running auger. The worker suffered multiple lacerations and the partial amputation of her arm. Co-workers had to cut the auger apart to free her arm.

An investigation in September 2020 by OSHa found that BEF Foods Inc. failed to shut down and isolate energy to the auger during maintenance work. The company was also found to have failed to train employees on required use of lockout/tagout procedures when conducting maintenance activities.

OSHA proposed penalties of $136,532 for two repeat violations of machine safety standards. The facility had been cited for similar standards back in 2016.

“Machines and equipment must be disabled before workers perform service and maintenance to prevent unexpected startup or release of hazardous energy,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberly Nelson from Toledo, Ohio in a press release. “OSHA has specific regulations for implementing required training and safety procedures to protect workers from dangerous machinery.”

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