OSHA cites cookie, cracker manufacturer after repeated safety violations
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Hearthside Food Solutions LLC multiple citations after an employee at one of the company’s Ohio manufacturing plants suffered serious injuries while cleaning near equipment.
According to OSHA, the employee was cleaning product waste from the plant floor when her hairnet was caught by a machine. The employee suffered severe scalp injuries and multiple lacerations which required four days of hospitalization.
This recent incident is the third serious injury involving machine hazards reported by Hearthside this year.
After an inspection, OSHA issued the company one repeated, three serious and one other-than-serious safety violation on Nov. 17 for failing to protect workers from machinery operating parts. OSHA has proposed penalties of $47,000 for the July 2015 injury.
“It is hard to imagine how frightened this worker must have been as the machine pulled her in by her hair,” says Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo. “Three times this year, an employee of Hearthside Food Solutions suffered life-altering injuries because the company continues to fail to protect its workers. It is disheartening to cite an employer repeatedly for the same hazards.”
OSHA cited the company in April and again in September after workers had fingertips amputated in accidents at the plant. The company has settled the citations issued in April 2015 and is contesting those issued in September.
Hearthside responded to the citations telling local news the company is disappointed with the tone and substance of the OSHA statement. The company added OSHA’s news release does not reflect Hearthside’s commitment to a safe working environment and excellent safety record.
Based in Illinois, Hearthside is the food industry’s largest contract manufacturer of baked goods and bars. With 23 facilities in North America and Europe, the company employs approximately 6,000 workers, nearly 1,800 of them at the McComb, OH plant.