The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Keystone Foods on Sept. 6, 2016, for 12 serious safety violations. OSHA began an investigation at the processing plant in Bakerhill Ala. after learning an employee suffered an amputation of the tip of his left index finger on March 7, 2016. The 65-year-old worker was cleaning an overhead saw and made contact with the unguarded saw blade, causing the injury.
After its investigation, OSHA identified violations that led them to issue serious citations for:
- Exposing employees to falls due to unguarded platforms.
- Exposing workers to amputation hazards due to unguarded saws and other machinery.
- Failing to follow safety procedures to prevent machinery from starting while cleaning.
- Failing to ensure workers wore eye protection.
- Failing to address the hazards of propane tanks stored near the ammonia refrigeration.
- Not including procedure to follow in the emergency action plan related to ammonia release.
"Keystone Foods is exposing workers to numerous serious safety hazards and must be more proactive with assessing the workplace for deficiencies and taking action to correct them," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in the Mobile Office. "This incident could have been prevented if management had followed OSHA standards."
The proposed penalties for the violations total $76,734. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The citations can be viewed at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/newsroom/newsreleases/OSHA20161743.pdf