Personal Injury

Workers Suffer Amputation, Burn Injuries at Alabama Food Plant

food production workers Wikimedia commons 338x210 Workers Suffer Amputation, Burn Injuries at Alabama Food PlantBurn injuries and amputations are a couple occupational hazards that no workers should face in the workplace, yet two employees of a Pike County, Alabama food producer were hospitalized within a week of each other after being injured in separate accidents.

In a Nov. 23 announcement, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said the workplace accidents occurred in the facilities of Southern Classic Food Group LLC. The Brundidge-based manufacturer produces a line of dressings, sauces, confections, beverages, and other products, including Dreamland “Bar-B-Que” sauce and Dale’s marinade.

According to OSHA, on Thurs., Aug. 2, one employee suffered burn injuries while using hot water under pressure. On the following Wednesday, another employee suffered an accidental finger amputation.

OSHA inspectors cited the company for exposing employees to amputation hazards; failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from powering on and train employees on these procedures; failing to ensure employees isolated energy sources before conducting line-breaking work; not providing personal protective equipment; and failing to implement a bloodborne pathogen program.

The agency proposed fines of $164,997 for the violations and gave the company 15 business days to comply orders to address and fix workplace hazards, request an informal conference with OSHA’s regional director to discuss the violations, or dispute the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Committee.

According to OSHA, workers servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy is not controlled with proper lockout/tagout procedures. Injuries resulting from the failure to comply with lockout/tagout rules during maintenance, repair, or cleaning can be serious or fatal. Such injuries may include electrocution, burin injuries, crushing injuries, lacerations, amputations, or fracturing of body parts, among others.