The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Gilman Cheese Corporation with ten violations after a worker had two fingers amputated by an unguarded machine. The fines accompanying these ten violations totaled $126,700.The employee was operating an unguarded cheese packaging and labeling machine at a factory in Wisconsin when his two fingers were amputated. Because of the hazards and willful violations cited, Gilman was placed on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Being labeled a Severe Violator requires follow-up inspections to ensure that Gilman is complying with the law, and OSHA can inspect any of their facilities or job sites.
Two of the violations cited were willful violations, which included: failing to develop and train workers on specific machine lockout procedures to prevent unexpected start-up of machines during maintenance, and failing to provide adequate machine guarding.
Six serious violations were also cited, involving: inadequate guarding on a bench grinder and a portable grinder, operating powered industrial vehicles without proper training and inspections, lack of an electrical safety program, and failing to provide training on blood borne pathogens to those who cleaned the machine following the amputation.
Two other-than-serious violations included: obstructing an exit, and using compressed air greater than thirty pounds per square inch for cleaning.
Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.
Gilman Cheese cited by OSHA after worker amputation, FoodQualitynews.com, June 14, 2013