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Ice Cream Maker Fined $237K After 2 Amputations on Same Machine

Article-Ice Cream Maker Fined $237K After 2 Amputations on Same Machine

Image courtesy of Google Maps Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 12.01.16 PM.png
A view of the Fieldbrook Foods plant in Lakewood, NJ
Workers lost fingers to an ice cream wrapper machine in two separate incidents at the Fieldbrook Foods plant.

Frozen desserts maker Fieldbrook Foods Corp. is facing a penalty of $237,176 for failing to address hazards that contributed to two amputations in 2018 and 2020 on the same ice cream wrapper machine at the firm’s Lakewood, NJ plant, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Monday.

Federal officials conducted a health and safety inspection at the facility in September 2020 after a maintenance mechanic lost two fingers while repairing the wrapper machine. The company willfully failed to shut down and isolate energy to the machine during the repair work, according to OSHA. In 2018, a sanitation worker lost a finger and fractured another during repairs on the same machine.

The agency determined the company violated safety standards for preventing accidental machine startup (lockout/tagout) in both incidents.

“Fieldbrook Foods knew that machines must be completely disabled before workers perform service and maintenance. Instead of addressing the cited amputation hazards which led to the two serious injuries, the company continues to expose its workers to dangerous machinery,” OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton, NJ said in a statement.

Owned by Wells Enterprises Inc., Fieldbrook manufactures and sells Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon, Original Bomb Pop and other brands of frozen dessert products. It is the biggest private, family-owned ice cream producer in the US.

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