Cal/OSHA has issued more than $300,000 in serious citations to two employers after a temporary worker lost two fingers cleaning machinery at a food manufacturing facility in Los Angeles. On October 2, 2018, the employee for Priority Workforce, Inc. was assigned to JSL Foods, Inc., a maker and distributer of noodles, pasta and baked goods. The worker was cleaning a dough rolling machine when his left hand was partially pulled into the moving rollers and two of his fingers were amputated.
Cal/OSHA’s investigation found the machine had not been adequately guarded to prevent fingers from entering pinch points, or de-energized and locked out to prevent movement while the worker was cleaning it. Neither employer had trained the worker to follow lockout/tagout procedures before cleaning the equipment. Lockout involves isolating a machine from its power source and using a device to prevent machinery from being restarted, while a tagout device on a machine shows it is prohibited to operate.
“Lockout/tagout procedures are required to protect employees who maintain powered equipment with moveable parts,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Employers must ensure the procedures are in place and are followed.”
Cal/OSHA cited JSL Foods Inc. $276,435 in proposed penalties for seven violations, including one willful repeat serious violation and one willful repeat serious accident related violation for failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures. JSL Foods, Inc. was cited twice in 2015 for the same violations. Cal/OSHA also cited Tustin-based Priority Workforce Inc. $29,250 in proposed penalties for three serious violations for failure to establish, implement, and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program, failure to ensure employees were effectively trained, and failure to ensure the machinery was adequately guarded.