OSHA has proposed more than $235,000 in fines against a New Jersey food manufacturer after a maintenance mechanic lost two fingers while repairing a machine—the same machine on which another worker had lost a finger two years earlier.
Despite the two severe amputation injuries at its Lakewood N.J., plant, Fieldbrook Foods Corp., continued to ignore safety protocols designed to prevent other workers from suffering similar injuries, OSHA said.
Fieldbrook Foods “willfully failed to shut down and isolate energy to the machine during repair work,” the agency said in proposing $237,176 in penalties.
The machine in question, an ice cream wrapper, was involved in the 2018 incident in which a worker lost one finger and broke another when they got caught while repairing the jammed equipment.
The second incident with the same machine happened in September 2020.
In both instances, OSHA found that the company violated safety standards for preventing accidental machine startup, a process known as lockout/tagout.
“Fieldbrook Foods knew that machines must be completely disabled before workers perform service and maintenance,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA area director based in Marlton, N.J.
“Instead of addressing the cited amputation hazards which led to two serious injuries, the company continues to expose its workers to dangerous machinery.”
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