ANDOVER, MA. – A candy-wrapping machine surgically amputated part of a temporary worker’s left index finger at a subsidiary of Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. of Chicago on Jan. 6, 2016, an incident that his employer might have prevented by meeting federal safety and health standards.
MJR, a Boston staffing company that does business as Snelling Staffing Services, supplied the worker to Cambridge Brands Inc.’s production facility at 810 Main St., in Cambridge.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an inspection on Feb. 2, 2016, soon after learning of the injury. OSHA’s inspection found that:
- Cambridge Brands failed to guard moving parts of the candy-wrapping machine against unintended contact, exposing workers to possible broken bones, soft tissue damage and amputation.
- Neither Cambridge Brands nor MJR trained the worker adequately about mechanical and noise hazards and safeguards.
- Cambridge Brands did not certify that it had performed periodic inspections of its energy control procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during servicing and maintenance.
- Cambridge Brands failed to report the amputation to OSHA within 24 hours, as required.
“This was a joint employment situation in which MJR supplied and paid the worker and Cambridge Brands, as host employer, supervised and dictated temporary employees’ work. Both employers had a responsibility to adequately train temporary workers about hazards and safeguards associated with their work duties and both failed to do so,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. “We found that the temporary workers did not receive the same level of training as permanent employees at Cambridge Brands. Adequate and effective training is essential so employees can identify and avoid work-related hazards and injuries.”
As a result of its findings, OSHA cited Cambridge Brands for two repeat, three serious and one other than serious violations and MJR Management for two serious violations of workplace safety standards. The repeat violations to Cambridge Brands stem from OSHA’s citing Tootsie Roll Industries in 2010 and 2014 for similar machine-guarding hazards at its Chicago location.
“Neither employer informed OSHA of the worker’s injury. We remind employers that OSHA’s reporting requirements for employers were strengthened beginning in January 2015. Employers are now required to report to OSHA within 24 hours any workplace incident that results in the in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye of one or more employees,” said Covello.
Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.