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May 10, 2024
Bakery facing $253K OSHA lockout/tagout fine

Pan-O-Gold Baking Company, a Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, commercial baking facility, faces $262,953 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for two repeat, six serious, and two other-than-serious violations, the agency announced May 6.

OSHA investigators cited Pan-O-Gold’s failures to train employees in lockout/tagout energy control procedures, provide adequate machine guarding, require the use of hand protection, enter details on the injury log, and report an employee’s hospitalization.

OSHA opened an investigation into an employee’s disabling injuries, which the company failed to report as required. Inspectors determined that the incident occurred as the employee adjusted a sensor in a bread pattern-forming machine.

An earlier investigation into how workers suffered amputation and laceration injuries at the same Sun Prairie location determined that the company exposed employees to hazards by failing to use and follow lockout/tagout procedures for machine safety. OSHA’s review of the company’s overall safety and health management systems found that Pan-O-Gold’s average days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rate for 2020 to 2022 was more than 160 percent higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2021 nationwide average for commercial bakeries.

“Pan-O-Gold Baking Company could have prevented this employee from suffering life-altering injuries by implementing required safety procedures to stop the machine from unexpectedly starting up as he tried to adjust the sensor,” Chad Greenwood, OSHA’s Madison, Wisconsin, area office director, said in an agency statement.

Last fall, the agency revealed that its lockout/tagout standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.147) was its sixth most frequently cited standard, cited 2,554 times in fiscal year (FY) 2023.

Chicago-area medical glass manufacturer facing $145K OSHA fine

Gerresheimer Glass Inc., a Chicago Heights, Illinois, manufacturer of medical glass bottles and vials, faces $145,415 in OSHA fines for one repeat and four serious violations, the agency announced May 6. The company continues to fail to train its employees in machine safety procedures, according to OSHA.

Agency investigators returned to the Chicago Heights facility on January 31, 2024, to verify compliance after inspections in October and December 2022 found workers were exposed to machine hazards. Violations cited after the January 31 inspection include the following:

  • Not training each authorized employee who performs and/or assists with service and maintenance tasks, including mold changes on lines and bottle machines; 
  • Failing to follow machine-specific energy control (lockout/tagout) procedures during a mold change;
  • Exposing workers to an unguarded chain and sprocket on a crusher machine;
  • Allowing employees to operate forklifts without required training; and
  • Exposing workers to trip hazards from floor panels that were in poor repair.

“Ignoring OSHA and industry-recommended machine safety procedures is a leading cause of injuries in the manufacturing industry,” James Martineck, OSHA’s Chicago-South area office director, said in a statement. “Workers must be trained in specific safety procedures for each machine they operate or service, and they should never be exposed to operating machine parts.”

The powered industrial trucks standard (§1910.178)—cited 2,561 times in FY 2023—was OSHA’s fifth most cited standard last year. The machine guarding standard (§1910.212)—cited 1,644 times—was its tenth most cited standard last year.

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