Cal/OSHA Cites Manufacturer, Staffing Firm $300K for Amputation of Worker’s Fingers

April 16, 2019

Cal/OSHA has cited two employers more than $300,000 after a temporary worker lost two fingers cleaning machinery at a food manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, Calif.

On Oct. 2, 2018, the employee for Priority Workforce Inc. was reportedly assigned to JSL Foods Inc., a maker and distributer of noodles, pasta and baked goods. The worker was cleaning a dough rolling machine when his left hand was partially pulled into the moving rollers and two of his fingers were amputated, according to reports.

Cal/OSHA’s investigation found the machine had not been adequately guarded to prevent fingers from entering pinch points, or de-energized and locked out to prevent movement while the worker was cleaning it.

Neither employer had trained the worker to follow lockout/tagout procedures before cleaning the equipment, according to the investigation. Lockout involves isolating a machine from its power source and using a device to prevent machinery from being restarted, while a tagout device on a machine shows it is prohibited to operate.

Cal/OSHA cited JSL Foods $276,435 in proposed penalties for seven violations, including one willful repeat serious violation and one willful repeat serious accident-related violation for failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures. JSL Foods was reportedly cited twice in 2015 for the same violations.

Cal/OSHA also cited Tustin-based Priority Workforce $29,250 in proposed penalties for three serious violations for failure to establish, implement and maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program, failure to ensure employees were effectively trained, and failure to ensure the machinery was adequately guarded.

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