The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found a Cincinnati-based food company to be guilty of multiple safety violations that led to a worker having one of his arms amputated below the elbow after an avoidable accident occurred at their factory.
Klosterman Baking Co. now faces close to $150,000 in citations due to their negligence, which involved not enforcing proper safety precautions in the cleaning and maintenance of their machinery. The 28-year-old employee eventually lost his arm after it was injured while cleaning a machine and a conveyor belt with a compressed air wand.
Even worse, the follow-up OSHA investigation revealed that Klosterman Baking Co. continued to expose its employees to the same risks that wound up severely injuring their employee. Even after somebody was seriously injured, they continued to operate without the proper safety precautions and made no attempts to protect other employees from the same potential harm.
This level of negligence led to a willful violation, meaning they were fully aware of the dangerousness of the situation but willfully chose not to improve the safety conditions for other workers. This is the more serious violation according to OSHA, carrying with it a nearly $125,000 citation.
The other two violations were by-the-book citations involving Klosterman Baking Co. not performing periodic inspections of their energy control procedures within the last year, which yielded a $12,471 citation. The last violation was for the improper use of a compressed air wand. OSHA states that for cleaning purposes, a compressed air wand should never be set above 30 psi, which Klosterman negligently did not follow. This violation brought a $9,799 citation.
Negligence will always eventually lead to accidents
Klosterman Baking Co. not only violated OSHA’s strict and important labor regulations, they also violated the trust of every worker that they employ. These violations show of a sincere lack of appreciation for the dangers posed to their employees in their factory, and their continued negligence after a serious accident occurred is nothing short of inexcusable.
All workers have the right to a safe workplace, and all employers are obligated by federal and state laws to follow the regulations that are enacted in order to maintain that safety in the workplace. The serious fines faced by the company are no consolation for the unfortunate worker who will now face difficulties – physically, psychologically and financially – throughout the entire remainder of his life.
“Just as tragic is the fact that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazard even after this young man lost part of his arm,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Klosterman needs to make immediate changes to its safety procedures and protect workers on the job.”
Injured at work in Massachusetts? Call us today
The fact that other workers at Klosterman were exposed after this accident shows an egregious act of negligence on the part of the employers, and that negligence is what we fight every day at Altman & Altman LLP. We have a team of dedicated legal professionals who live and breathe to fight this type of carelessness in the workplace that leads to serious injuries (or worse) all too often in this country.
If you or somebody you love has been seriously injured or even killed in an avoidable workplace accident, do not hesitate to call us today for free legal advice and a step towards financial compensation.
Although nothing can heal the lasting damage incurred by a work-related injury or fatality, we can at least help recover lost wages, money spent on hospital stays or medication and restore a small part of your peace of mind by ensuring that the guilty parties face the justice they have coming to them.
Call us for a free consultation today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.