News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Manufacturer For Exposing Employees to Machine Hazards

MCCOMB, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hearthside Food Solutions Inc. – a manufacturer of brand name cookies and crackers – for violations of OSHA’s machine safety standards after two employees suffered severe injuries in separate incidents at the McComb, Ohio, facility. The company faces $262,169 in penalties.

OSHA received an employer-reported referral from Hearthside Food Solutions Inc. after an employee suffered a finger amputation after coming into contact with an unguarded chain and sprocket on Oct. 25, 2019. OSHA opened a second inspection at the facility when another employee suffered an amputation injury on Dec. 11, 2019, while conducting maintenance on a packaging machine.

OSHA cited the company for one willful violation for failure to control hazardous energy sources, and two repeat violations for not training employees to perform energy control procedures during service and maintenance operations, and inadequate machine guarding.

“Hearthside Foods has a history of OSHA violations for machine hazards,”said Toledo OSHA Area Director Kimberly Nelson. “Employers have a responsibility to train and protect workers from such hazards in their facilities.”

“Amputations are preventable when employers comply with machine guarding and lockout/tagout standards, as required by law,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.

OSHA’s machine guarding and control of hazardous energy webpages provide information on what employers must do to limit worker exposures to machine hazards.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Date
April 8, 2020
Release Number
20-503-CHI
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number
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