OSHA Fines Ohio Bread Company Following Employee's Amputation

An Ohio wholesale bakery faces nearly $147,000 in fines after one of its workers lost part of his right arm in an accident earlier this year.

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An Ohio wholesale bakery faces nearly $147,000 in fines after one of its workers lost part of his right arm in an accident earlier this year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration this month cited Klosterman Baking Co. for three safety violations found in the wake of the May 29 incident.

A 28-year-old maintenance worker at its Cincinnati plant was using an air wand to clean crumbs from a bread wrapping machine and conveyor belt when his arm became caught. The arm was eventually amputated below the elbow.

The OSHA investigation found that the machine was not properly locked out prior to cleaning, and that the hazards were not addressed following the accident. Investigators found a different employee cleaning the same improperly guarded machine five weeks later.

"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," OSHA area director Ken Montgomery said in a statement. "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, which supplies bread products to thousands of restaurants, retailers, hospitals, schools and other commercial customers, operates two additional production facilities in Ohio and a fourth in Indiana.

The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference with local OSHA officials or contest the findings.

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