BUFFALO, N.Y. - On Dec. 16, 2015, an employee of a commercial bakery at Rochester, New York sustained broken bones in her hand and arm while cleaning an operating conveyor belt and roller. While cleaning the machine, her hand was caught in between the belt and the roller and the machine pulled it in.
Based on the investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Buffalo Area Office the establishment was found to be in violation of OSHA's hazardous energy control standard. Investigation findings reveal that bakery employees routinely cleaned the conveyor belt and roller without turning it off and locking out its power source. Investigators also found that the establishment failed to train thier employees on how to power off and lockout the equipment before cleaning it. OSHA cited the bakery for similar hazards in October 2011 and September 2015.
According to Michael Scime, OSHA's area director in Buffalo: "These hazards and the injury that resulted were preventable. They also reflect an unfortunate and needless pattern. OSHA has repeatedly cited the bakery for similar lockout and training hazards over the past five years, including incidents in 2015 in which one employee sustained a finger injury and another suffered a first-degree burn. The establishment must take effective and ongoing action to ensure that its bakery employees are properly trained and safeguarded so that incidents and injuries such as these do not happen again."
OSHA has now cited the establishment for two repeated violations of workplace safety standards and proposed a total of $140,000 in fines for those violations.
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.