Bob Evans Farms Plant Fined $136K After Amputation in Auger

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A worker lost part of their arm while cleaning the equipment at the firm’s Lima, OH facility.

BEF Foods Inc., operating as Bob Evans Farms, was cited by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for two repeat violations of machine safety standards following an investigation into an incident at the firm’s Lima, OH plant. The occupational safety agency has proposed a fine of $136,532.

A 39-year-old worker was cleaning an auger used to rice potatoes inside the Lima plant when their arm became caught in the machine. She had several lacerations and suffered a partial amputation of her arm. During the incident, co-workers cut apart the auger to release the woman’s arm.

The September 2020 investigation revealed that BEF Foods failed to shut down and isolate energy (lockout/tagout) to the auger during maintenance work. OSHA officials also found that the company did not train workers on the required use of lockout/tagout procedures when carrying out maintenance work.

“Machines and equipment must be disabled before workers perform service and maintenance to prevent unexpected startup or release of hazardous energy,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberly Nelson in Toledo, Ohio. “OSHA has specific regulations for implementing required training and safety procedures to protect workers from dangerous machinery.”

OSHA issued citations to Bob Evans Foods’ Lima plant for similar violations in 2016.

The company has 15 business days from the receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.  

BEF Foods is owned by Post Holdings.

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