Baking Firm Fined after Amputation

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 04:11 PM gHale

Just five weeks after a 28-year-old maintenance worker lost part of his right arm in an improperly guarded bread wrapping machine at the Cincinnati, OH-based Klosterman Baking Co., federal safety inspectors investigating the injury found another worker exposed to the same hazard.

On Nov. 3, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials proposed penalties of $146,979 for one willful and two serious violations of safety standards at the Klosterman facility.

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Based in Cincinnati, Klosterman Baking Co. provides bread products to more than 4,000 commercial customers including restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and schools.

Inspectors found the large wholesale baking company — with production and distribution operations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee — continued to allow employees to clean the machine without isolating operating parts, a process known as lockout/tagout.

“A 28-year-old worker suffered a permanent and debilitating injury because his employer failed to follow required safety procedures and isolate energy to this machine before allowing workers to clean it,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Just as tragic is the fact that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazard even after this young man lost part of his arm. Klosterman needs to make immediate changes to its safety procedures and protect workers on the job.”

Investigators determined the worker was using an air wand to remove bread crumbs from the machine and conveyor belt when he was injured on May 29, 2016, resulting in the amputation of his right arm just below the elbow. Safety inspectors found workers cleaning the same wrapper machine on July 7, without locking out operating parts, exposing them to amputation and other serious injuries, resulting in the willful violation.

OSHA also found the company:
• Failed to conduct periodic inspections of machine lockout/tag out procedures
• Reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch

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