Employee Suffers Amputation at Milk Packaging Plant

Employee Suffers Amputation at Milk Packaging Plant

Employer faces $339K in proposed penalties for willful, serious violations.

A milk packaging plant worker lost four fingers while operating a molding machine that lacked required safeguards at Safeway Inc. in Denver. OSHA investigated the incident on February 12, 2021 and cited the U.S. supermarket chain for two willful and five serious violations as well as one other than serious violation for:

• Failing to implement procedures for the control of hazardous energy, including failing to develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machines from operating unintentionally.

• Inadequate machine guarding.

• Inadequate numbers of locks to perform lockout/tagout and inadequate LOTO training.

• Oil leaks on the floor exposing workers to slip and trip hazards.

“Safeway Inc. knew its equipment lacked safeguards, yet the company chose to let work continue without regard to workers’ safety,” said OSHA Area Director Amanda Kupper in Denver. “This indifference caused a worker to suffer a serious and permanent injury.”

OSHA proposed $339,379 in penalties. Safeway operates under Albertsons Companies, which has stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 company names. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the OSHRC.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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