WAKEFIELD, NE — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Michael Foods Inc., an egg processing facility based in Wakefield, Nebraska, for multiple safety violations after an employee suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a dock leveler. A dock leveler is a device used to allow a forklift to travel between a loading dock and a trailer.
One of the employer’s dock levelers was undergoing maintenance. OSHA investigators determined that the employer failed to properly brace the dock leveler during the maintenance procedures, causing it to fall onto an employee who was assisting in the maintenance. OSHA cited Michael Foods Inc. for exposing employees to hazards associated with failing to properly brace equipment during servicing and maintaining; failing to develop written and effective training and procedures for lockout/tagout; and failing to conduct periodic reviews of the company’s lockout/tagout safety procedures. It also found violations relating to electrical and arc flash hazards. Michael Foods Inc. faces $188,464 in proposed penalties.
“Employers are required to train workers on safety practices, and use appropriate hazard controls to ensure their safety,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s Omaha Area Office Director. “Proper safety controls and training can prevent fatalities like this from occurring.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.