A Lima, Ohio-based food production facility has been hit with citations and $136,532 in proposed penalties after worker suffers partial arm amputation.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said a 39-year-old production worker suffered multiple lacerations and the partial amputation of her arm at the BEF Foods Inc. plant. While cleaning an auger used to rice potatoes, the employee’s left arm caught in a running auger and co-workers had to cut the auger apart to free her arm.
An OSHA investigation in September 2020 determined that BEF Foods failed to shut down and isolate energy to the auger during maintenance work, a process known as lockout/tagout. The company, which operates as Bob Evans Farms, also failed to train employees on the required use of lockout/tagout procedures when conducting maintenance activities.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $136,532 for two repeat violations of machine safety standards. The agency cited BEF Foods Inc. for similar violations in 2016 at the same facility.
Based in Columbus, BEF Foods is also a producer and distributor of refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items under the Bob Evans, Owens and Pineland Farms brand names.
Owned by Post Holdings Inc., BEF Foods employs more than 1,000 workers nationwide and 350 at the Lima facility.
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.
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