Dangerous bagels: Fla. bakery fined for machine guarding violations
Hometown Foods USA – a commercial bakery doing business as Bagelmania Inc. – faces $129,145 in proposed penalties from OSHA after investigators found workers at its Medley facility exposed to amputation, fire, and noise hazards.
OSHA cited the employer for 16 serious and other-than-serious safety and health violations after receiving a complaint alleging machine-guarding, forklift, and noise hazards.
“Our inspection identified hazards that pose a serious threat to employees’ safety and health if not immediately corrected,” said OSHA Area Director Condell Eastmond. “Hometown Foods USA needs to establish and implement an effective safety and health management system to protect its workers.”
The agency issued serious citations due to the company’s failure to:
- Ensure proper machine guarding on several pieces of equipment;
- Develop and implement an emergency action plan;
- Provide personal protective equipment such as thermal protection and safety glasses to each employee as required;
- Develop and implement a hazardous energy control program – lockout/tagout – to prevent machines from starting up during maintenance and service;
- Ensure all safety devices on the ovens were inspected at least twice a month; and
- Develop and implement a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to 85 decibels or more.
The company also was cited for not providing employees’ formal training on operating a powered industrial truck, failing to inspect powered industrial trucks for defects prior to putting them into service, and improper use of electrical cables.
Based in Miami, Hometown Foods USA provides private label and branded bagels and cakes to in-store bakeries, club stores, and foodservice distributors and operators.