An ice cream manufacturer in New Jersey has been cited after an employee lost two fingers while trying to service a packaging machine – the same one that cost another worker a finger two years previously.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a $237,176 fine against Fieldbrook Foods. The announcement comes after an September 2020 investigation into an incident in which a maintenance mechanic lost two fingers trying to repair a wrapping machine at a plant in Lakewood, N.J..
The same machine was implicated in a 2018 incident in which a sanitation worker lost one finger and fractured another while trying to clear a jam. In both cases, OSHA cited a failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedure.
Fieldbrook Foods is a unit of Wells Enterprises, which makes ice cream under Blue Bunny and other labels.
“Fieldbrook Foods knew that machines must be completely disabled before workers perform service and maintenance. Instead of addressing the cited amputation hazards which led to two serious injuries, the company continues to expose its workers to dangerous machinery,” an OSHA area director said in a statement.