On July 24, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the California based Bridgford Food Processing Corp's Chicago meat processing facility for willful and repeat violations. Bridgford's Chicago facility was previously cited for improper lockout procedures and machine guarding on vacuum packaging machines, which caused amputations to 2 fingers of one worker and finger laceration and tendon damage to 4 fingers of another worker.
OSHA states that Bridgford's repeat violations show its blatant disregard for the health and safety of its employees.
Bridgford's Chicago facility was already cited in July 2010 for willful and repeat safety violations for failing to implement and train workers on lockout/tagout procedures, which exposed workers to equipment that was energized. In other words, machines and equipment were still connected to an energy source or they contained residual or stored energy when they should have been completely turned off. Therefore, the machine could have started and caused serious injuries when a worker was servicing, cleaning or clearing a jam.
After the July 2010 citation, Bridgford was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program and had various follow-up inspections under the program. Bridgford's Dallas facility also received various citations. Bridgford is contesting all the citations.
If you work with industrial machines, it is important that your employer provides training on lockout/tagout procedures or ensures that the machines have guards at points of operation to ensure your safety and health.
Amputations are serious injuries and can affect your future and livelihood. For more information about OSHA standards for machine guarding, feel free to contact our Pennsylvania industrial machinery accident lawyers.
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