J.M. Smucker Fined $60K after Finger Amputated on Valve

October 25, 2016

1 Min Read
J.M. Smucker Fined $60K after Finger Amputated on Valve
Grape jelly, an iconic J.M. Smucker Company product. Image courtesy of Flickr user acradenia

A J.M. Smucker Company facility in Orrville, OH was issued with one repeated and one serious safety violation on Oct. 21 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a worker amputated a fingertip on a valve at the site this July, the federal agency announced Tuesday. OSHA is proposing penalties of $60,571.

A 39-year-old maintenance employee amputated the tip of the index finger on his right hand on Jul. 29, 2016 while cleaning a valve body. The body fell into the valve housing, which amputated the tip of the worker’s finger, the agency said. The facility was cited by OSHA for a similar violation in November 2013.

An OSHA inspection of the site determined that the company failed to “develop procedures to control gravity as an energy source.” Agency inspectors also found that workers were exposed to struck-by hazards from an overhead obstruction over a staircase at the facility.

“All too often, OSHA finds employers are complacent with machine safety features and conduct maintenance and other tasks without taking all steps to prevent machinery from movement,” said the director of OSHA’s Cleveland, OH area office, Howard Eberts, in a statement. “The J.M. Smucker Company should re-evaluate its machine safety programs and procedures to ensure they are effective.”

J.M. Smucker Company is based in Orrville and is a leading manufacturer of food and beverage products, as well as pet food and snacks, in North America.

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