US Department of Labor cites Safeway Inc. after employee suffers amputations at milk packaging plant
DENVER – A worker at a Denver milk packaging plant operated by Safeway Inc. lost four fingers while operating a molding machine that lacked required safeguards.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the Feb. 12 incident and cited the U.S. supermarket chain for two willful and five serious violations and one other than serious violation for:
- Failing to implement procedures for the control of hazardous energy, including failing to develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machines from operating unintentionally.
- Inadequate machine guarding.
- Inadequate numbers of locks to perform lockout/tagout and inadequate lockout/tagout training.
- Oil leaks on the floor exposing workers to slip and trip hazards.
OSHA proposed $339,379 in penalties.
“Safeway Inc. knew its equipment lacked safeguards, yet the company chose to let work continue without regard to workers’ safety,” said OSHA Area Director Amanda Kupper in Denver. “This indifference caused a worker to suffer a serious and permanent injury.”
Safeway operates under the banner of Albertsons Companies, which has stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 recognized company names.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citation 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.