A Pasco, WA food processing plant was cited for occupational safety violations and issued $92,400 in fines by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) after a worker’s finger was amputated by a conveyor belt, the state agency announced in a Dec. 27 press release.
The state opened an investigation in to the Freeze Pak facility in Pasco last June after a conveyor belt fractured a worker’s wrist and partially amputated their finger. The worker was cleaning under the machinery when the incident occurred.
The plant was cited with six total violations: three repeat-serious, two serious and one general. Investigators determined the company did not adhere to lockout/tagout procedures, and was cited for a repeat-serious violation with a fine of $52,800.
Two instances were uncovered where the company failed to properly guard machinery. The company was cited for the same violations in December 2014, resulting in new repeat-serious violations and a fine of $13,200.
Freeze Pak received two serious violations for lacking a energy-control program that blocks accidental equipment startups and for its failure to provide proper equipment to prevent injuries on conveyors. Investigators also identified a non-functioning “door closer” on the conveyor and issued one general violation with no fine.
L&I placed the firm on its severe violators list.