Federal workplace safety officials have cited a food packaging company after a worker was seriously injured by a forklift; proposed penalties total $177,490.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said a forklift struck and seriously injured a 60-year-old seasonal employee as she walked toward a pallet to label products for shipping at a Seneca Foods Corp. facility in Ripon, Wisconsin, where vegetables are canned for Libby’s and several other brands.
In addition to the proposed monetary penalties, OSHA cited Seneca Foods Corp. for two repeat and three serious safety violations involving forklift training and machine safety procedures at the canning facility.
In its November 2020 inspection, OSHA also found that another employee had suffered a fractured finger when it was caught in machinery that the company failed to lockout to prevent unintentional movement, as required. OSHA cited Seneca Foods for similar violations in 2019 at its Gillett facility.
Based in Marion, New York, Seneca Foods is one of North America’s leading providers of packaged fruits and vegetables and distributes to more than 90 countries. The company sources from more than 1,600 American farms for sale under the Libby’s, Aunt Nellie’s, Green Valley and Seneca brands.
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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