OSHA Determines Safety Failures Responsible for Severing of Worker’s Fingertips

A worker at a Sussex manufacturing plant has suffered an injury, which OSHA has determined that were due to safety failures. The worker, who was 30 years old, had three fingers severed at the Nature’s Path Foods Incorporated subsidiary plant as he was cleaning the machine. Goldberg Weisman Cairo understands that the rotating airlock blade caused significant injuries, but safety investigators have determined that fully powering down the machine would have prevented this.

A History of Safety Failures

According to OSHA, there is a history of safety failures for this company. The company was cited for the similar violations back in 2012. In May, OSHA had cited the facility for 14 serious in addition to the two repeated safety violations. There was also one violation that was less than severe determined after the investigation for the November 2015 injury. It has been proposed that the company pay over $118,000 in penalty charges.
Nature’s Path USA II was found to have numerous safety failures. These include failing to develop a confined entry procedure, powering down or lockdown equipment in order to prevent operation unintentionally, conduct regular inspections, develop rescue or emergency service summoning systems, install the proper machine guarding, train workers on chemical hazards, provide noise limit information and correct the electrical safety violations on the premises.

The OSHA Determination:

According to area director at Milwaukee OSHA, Christine Zortman, the training of workers to isolate power, as per the OSHA standards could have prevented any injury. This procedure would have prevented hands from having contact with the machine operating parts. Employees have a requirement that energy is locked out or properly guarded to prevent access to equipment danger zones.
Since January last year, OSHA requires employers report severe injuries in the workplace within 24 hours. Any workplace fatalities need to be reported within 8 hours. Nature’s Path Foods is a family owned company which produces USDA Certified NonGMO and Organic snack foods and breakfast cereals sold in over 50 countries. The company has four facilities in the U.S and Canada, employing hundreds of workers. The company has up to fifteen business days to comply with the penalties and citations, request an informal OSHA conference or contest the report findings before the review commission.