Oregon OSHA cites Springfield meat company for willful safety violations
Salem, OR — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined Bright Oaks Meat, Inc., $7,850 after an employee's hand was pulled into a meat tenderizing machine. The fine, based on a willful violation, was the result of an inspection on Aug. 12, 2013.
The accident occurred on Aug. 3, 2013, when a female worker was feeding meat into the tenderizing machine. The investigation found her gloved right hand was pulled into the blades. Two fingers were severely fractured and cuts to her hand required 60 stitches. The report also showed the worker, who had been employed at Bright Oaks Meat for about a year, never used the machine with the guard.
Oregon OSHA cited the business for failing to guard the meat tenderizing machine, failing to report an overnight hospitalization to Oregon OSHA within 24 hours, and lack of a safety committee.
"This employer consciously neglected a safety measure that could have prevented the injury," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "There is no reason for an employer to decide it can simply disregard the rules."
The inspection also revealed the guard had been missing for two years before the accident and no effort was made to replace it. A willful violation, where an employer intentionally or knowingly allows a violation to occur, can result in a $70,000 penalty. In this case, Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, issued a lower penalty because the business is a small employer and the violation was unlikely to cause the death of a worker.