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Worker Loses Part of Finger, Food Processor Fined $52K

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Calumet City area office cited Koch Foods Inc., doing business at Chicago poultry processing facility Aspen Foods Inc., for one repeated and four serious safety violations.

The citations follow an OSHA investigation opened after a worker lost part of his right middle finger while clearing a paper jam on April 18, 2015. Inspectors found the machine lacked adequate safety guards to protect him from dangerous moving parts by using locking devices to prevent the machine from operating while he was clearing the paper jam, OSHA also issued four serious violations for failing to post essential procedural information in Spanish that explained the use of locking devices to prevent machines from operating and not training employees on safety procedures to prevent exposure to operating parts.

"This worker permanently lost part of his finger because his employer failed to follow basic safety procedures for preventing machine operation during service and maintenance - procedures it was certainly aware of after its recent citation," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. “It is disheartening to cite an employer repeatedly for hazards they know are exposing workers to life-altering injuries like this."

Proposed Penalties are $52,500.

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