Two workers injured at Ohio rice-cake plant
In response to a report of an electrical shock injury, OSHA found that a 20-year employee was injured while he performed service work on an electrical panel at a Coldwater rice-cake manufacturer. The employee missed two days of work due to the electrical shock injury which occurred Aug. 18, 2014. Following an investigation, OSHA cited Basic Grain Products Inc. for two repeated and five serious safety violations.
Partial finger amputation as well
OSHA also learned that another employee missed 20 workdays and was on restricted duty for an additional 22 days after part of his ring finger was amputated on June 19, 2014, as he adjusted a machine used to make rice cakes.
OSHA's investigation determined that the employee who suffered the amputation injury while servicing the rice-cake machine was exposed to the operating parts of the machinery because it had not been properly powered down before maintenance.
The investigation also found Basic Grain Products failed to implement electrical safety-related work practices, which included no use of personal protective equipment; untrained workers; and inadequate clearance in front of electrical panels. These violations resulted in five serious safety citations
OSHA also cited the company for exposing workers to unguarded rice-cake machines that had been improperly powered down to prevent them from starting up during maintenance. These violations exposed workers to amputation* and laceration hazards. Similar violations were found at the company in 2013.
Based in Coldwater with about 130 employees, Basic Grain Products is one of the largest private-label manufacturers and suppliers of rice cakes and other healthy snacks to supermarkets nationwide. The company faces proposed penalties of $58,410.