CINCINNATI, Ohio – Just five weeks after a 28-year-old maintenance worker lost part of his right arm in an improperly guarded bread wrapping machine at the Cincinnati-based Klosterman Baking Co., federal safety inspectors investigating the injury found another worker exposed to the same hazard.
On Nov. 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed penalties of $146,979 for one willful and two serious violations of safety standards at the Klosterman facility. Safety inspectors found the large wholesale baking company – with production and distribution operations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee – continued to allow employees to clean the machine without isolating operating parts, a process known as lockout/tagout.
“A 28-year-old worker suffered a permanent and debilitating injury because his employer failed to follow required safety procedures and isolate energy to this machine before allowing workers to clean it,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Just as tragic is the fact that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazard even after this young man lost part of his arm. Klosterman needs to make immediate changes to its safety procedures and protect workers on the job.”
Investigators determined the worker was using an air wand to remove bread crumbs from the machine and conveyor belt when he was injured on May 29, 2016, resulting in the amputation of his right arm just below the elbow. Federal safety inspectors found workers cleaning the same wrapper machine on July 7, 2016, without locking out operating parts, exposing them to amputation and other serious injuries, resulting in the willful violation.
OSHA also found the company:
- Failed to conduct periodic safety inspections of machine lockout/tag out procedures.
- Reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch.
Today many industrial companies use mobile inspection software on Smart Phones or Tablets to perform period inspections of machine lockout/tag out processes as a method of improving worker safety and reducing workplace injuries.
View current citations here.
Based in Cincinnati, Klosterman Baking Co. provides bread products to more than 4,000 commercial customers including restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and schools.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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