OSHA Cites Frozen Dessert Company After Second Accident on Same Machine
Fieldbrook Foods Corp. failed to address hazards that led to workers’ amputations.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Mar 17, 2021
Ignoring protocols, two severe amputation injuries in 2018 and 2020 happened on the same machine at a Lakewood, New Jersey ice cream manufacturing plant.
Most recently in September of 2020, a maintenance mechanic lost two fingers while repairing an ice cream wrapper machine. An OSHA investigation found that Fieldbrook Foods Corp. failed to shut down and isolate energy to the machine during its repair work. OSHA proposed $237,176 in penalties, according to a press release.
The same machine was involved in a 2018 incident, where a sanitation worker lost one finger and fractured another when his fingers got caught while attempting to repair the damaged equipment.
“Fieldbrook Foods knew that machines must be completely disabled before workers perform service and maintenance. Instead of addressing the cited amputation hazards which led to two serious injuries, the company continues to expose its workers to dangerous machinery,” said OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick, in Marlton, New Jersey.
Fieldbrook Foods Corp., a subsidiary of Wells Enterprise Inc., produces and sells frozen desserts under Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon and other brands. The company is the largest privately held, family-owned ice cream manufacturer in the U.S. Wells produces more than 150 million gallons of ice cream per year and distributes products in all 50 states. The company employs about 200 workers in Lakewood.
The company has 15 business days from the receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’S area director, or contest its findings.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.