The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $277,472 in fines for Abbotsford, Wis., processor Abbyland Foods following two separate investigations of serious worker injuries in the past seven months, according to an OSHA release.
Citations for a repeat violation and 17 serious violations have been given to Abbyland, after investigators looked at the circumstances that led to an auger amputated the top of one worker’s finger in December 2022, and a guard on a trash compactor crushed another worker’s hand in January 2023 — both at the Abbotsford facility.
OSHA pointed to the company’s failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures and provide adequate machine guarding as primary contributors to the infractions. OSHA interviewed more than 70 employees across all shifts during its two investigations, but these were not the first infractions at the company, according to reports. OSHA had cited Abbyland with 22 serious violations and more than $56,000 in penalties since 2013, many involving the same safety hazards in this latest round of incidents.
The company has 15 days from receipt to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.