U.S. Department of Labor Cites Chicago-Based Candy Manufacturer For Exposing Employees to Machine Hazards
CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Chicago-based Ferrara Candy Company for violations of OSHA’s machine safety standards after employees suffered severe injuries in two separate incidents at the Bellwood, Illinois, facility. The company faces $485,008 in penalties, and OSHA has placed them in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
OSHA received an employer-reported referral in January 2020 after an employee suffered a fingertip amputation after contact with an unguarded rotary valve. While that inspection remained open, the employer reported in March 2020 that another employee required hospitalization after being caught-in machinery.
OSHA cited the company for inadequate machine guarding and failing to control hazardous energy sources, provide lockout/tagout devices, and perform periodic inspections of lockout procedures and train employees on these procedures. The agency also cited for failing to maintain electrical protective gloves, conduct safety-related employee training on electrical hazards, provide insulated electrical tools, install permanent electrical wiring and record a work-related injury.
“Proper safety procedures, including machine guarding and the effective lockout of all sources of energy, could have prevented these employees’ injuries,” said Chicago North OSHA Area Director Angeline Loftus. “Employers have a legal responsibility to train workers and protect them from exposure to hazards in the workplace.”
“Amputations are preventable when employers comply with required machine guarding and lockout/tagout standards,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Employers must take proactive steps to develop and implement energy control procedures to minimize risk to their workers.”
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.
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