The company that produces cookies and crackers for brands such as Kellogg, General Mills and Nabisco has been cited for safety violations by OSHA, after one of its workers lost part of a finger in a machine.
The citations follow an agency investigation opened after a 55-year-old worker lost part of his right middle finger while unjamming a dough-cutting machine. Inspectors found the machine lacked adequate guarding to protect him from dangerous moving parts. Hearthside Food Solutions was cited for a similar violation at the same facility in 2010, resulting in the issuance of one repeated violation. OSHA also issued two serious violations for failing to turn off the machine during maintenance and not training employees on safety procedures to prevent exposure to operating parts.
"This worker suffered the permanent loss of part of his finger because his employer of three years failed to follow basic safety procedures," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "It is disheartening to cite an employer repeatedly for hazards they know are exposing workers to life-altering injuries like this."
Proposed Penalties: $52,500.
Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, Hearthside Food Solutions LLC is the food industry's largest contract manufacturer of baked goods and bars. With 23 facilities in North America and Europe the company employs about 6,000 workers, nearly 1,800 of them at the McComb plant.