Federal investigation of amputation injury finds Rana Meal Solutions again failed to protect employees from machines’ moving parts
BARTLETT, IL – For the third time in five years, federal investigators have found a nationwide provider of ready-made pasta, sauces and meals failed to follow workplace safety requirements to prevent workers from coming into contact with moving machine parts.
Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigating a report by Rana Meal Solutions LLC that an employee suffered a finger amputation determined the incident occurred on a hot pasta sauce line at the company’s Bartlett manufacturing facility. At the time, the employee was trying to find a piece of a broken ball valve lodged in the system.
“Once again, our inspectors found Rana Meal Solutions LLC ignoring federal safety requirements to make sure dangerous machines are guarded or fully de-energized before they are maintained or serviced,” explained OSHA Area Director Jacob Scott in Naperville, Illinois. “In 2019 and 2020, OSHA found the company exposed employees to the risk of severe injuries and now, in 2023, their failure to follow industry and federal safety standards led one worker to suffer a painful, disfiguring injury.”
OSHA cited the company for two repeat and twelve serious violations and assessed $272,792 in proposed penalties. Specifically, inspectors found Rana Meal Solutions did not make certain employees were adequately de-energizing all hazardous energy sources while servicing and maintaining, including setup and cleaning, of sauce line equipment and other food processing machines. Investigators also learned the company did not conduct periodic inspections of lockout procedures and practices at least annually, a violation for which OSHA cited the company in 2020.
In addition, OSHA inspectors cited Rana Meal Solutions for the following serious safety violations:
- Storing chemicals in a room without adequately installed electrical circuit for a light switch and mechanical ventilation, a raised sill or a grated trench to drain spilled chemicals safely.
- Not fully implementing a confined space safety program, including the issuance of entry permits.
- Not developing, documenting or using lockout/tagout procedures for several machines. Investigators found the company did not retrain employees periodically on proper procedures and failed to use group lockouts when several employees serviced and maintained equipment.
- Failing to inspect slings each day before their use.
- Not affixing alloy chains with permanent, durable information tag on size, grade, and rated capacity.
- Lacking adequate machine guarding.
- Not enclosing chains and sprockets completely to protect employees from injuries.
Based in Bartlett, Rana Meal Solutions LLC manufactures perishable Italian food products in two manufacturing buildings there and operates a distribution center nearby. The company ships its products nationwide.
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.