A worker’s accidental hand amputation triggered a safety inspection and more than $300,000 in penalties for an Upstate New York food ingredients manufacturer and distributor.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it launched an inspection of Marshall Ingredients LLC in Wolcott, New York, in July 2017 after being notified that plant worker suffered an accidental hand amputation while using a machine.
According to the company’s website, Marshall Ingredients manufactures all-natural dried fruit and vegetable products for use in human and pet food.
The worker’s hand amputation occurred when she reached into the rotating airlock of a food dryer while cleaning it, Syracuse.com reported. OSHA said the woman was a temporary worker, indicating that she likely had insufficient experience with the equipment inside the plant.
OSHA’s inspection found that Marshall Ingredients failed to properly guard its machines to protect workers from accidental amputations and other injuries. Unguarded or improperly guarded industrial machines are a leading cause of accidental amputations on the job.
OSHA said the company also failed to develop procedures and provide workers with proper training on how to prevent machinery from unexpectedly starting up, and exposed workers to health and safety hazards involving combustible dust, confined spaces, chemicals, electricity, machinery and falling.
The violations ranged from willful, which OSHA considers to be the most egregious, to serious. Proposed penalties for the safety lapses total $300,062.
“This incident could have been prevented had adequate machine guards been in place,” said OSHA Syracuse Area Office Director Christopher Adams. “Employers have a responsibility to implement and maintain safeguards to protect their employees from amputation hazards.”
In addition to Marshall Ingredients, OSHA also cited People Ready, the temporary staffing agency that provided the worker, for safety violations totaling $24,020.