Investigation findings: OSHA initiated an inspection on April 2, 2016, after receiving a report that a worker suffered a thumb amputation while operating a mixing machine at Birdsboro Kosher Farms. At that time, the agency also initiated follow-ups to previous OSHA inspections conducted in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to ensure the workplace was free of the previously cited workplace hazards. In its inspection, OSHA found a deficient system for protecting workers from the hazards associated with the unexpected start-up of machinery and issued the willful citations.
The serious violations included uncovered floor holes, a deficient hearing conservation program, inadequate egress signage, the company's failure to secure compressed gas cylinders, a failure to provide sanitary personal protective equipment or specialty foot protection at no cost to employees, and failure to post permit-required confined space signs.
Quote: "Birdsboro Kosher Farms is leaving its employees vulnerable to a variety of safety and health hazards that can cause serious injuries," said Timothy Braun, acting OSHA area director in Harrisburg. "It is critical that the company take appropriate steps to ensure worker protection at its facility. Anything less is unacceptable."
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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