OSHA fines Breedlove in Lubbock after employee amputation

OSHA fines Breedlove in Lubbock after employee amputation
Published: Apr. 12, 2016 at 5:29 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2016 at 9:18 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration Lubbock Area Office (OSHA) has fined Breedlove following an investigation around an incident where an employee's hand was amputated in a machine.

OSHA began the inspection Oct.16, 2015, after a feed auger amputated an employee's hand as the worker performed cleaning work in and around the operating machine.

Investigators found that the Breedlove did not provide a safe working environment for its employees.

The agency cited Breedlove located at 1818 N. MLK Blvd. for 12 serious violations that included:

  • Not having an emergency stop on equipment.
  • Allowing wet floors to create slip hazards.
  • Lacking a lockout/tagout program or procedures to power down machines before cleaning or maintenance.
  • Allowing machines without machine guards.
  • Permitting exit routes and electrical panels to be blocked.

The 12 violations will potentially cost Breedlove $50,400 in penalties.

"As a charitable organization whose mission is to provide food and sustenance to the most vulnerable people throughout the world, Breedlove is deeply saddened by the workplace injury that occurred last year to one of our employees.  Breedlove Foods is committed to providing a safe working environment for all of our employees who are all an integral part of this important mission to feed the world."  --Breedlove Foods

Breedlove is a commercial-sized non-profit food processor that works to feed hungry people in the U.S. and more than 65 countries. It serves educational and medical institutions, nursing homes, disaster relief operations and impoverished populations abroad.

"Breedlove Foods' focus on humanitarian efforts is commendable. The company, however, must also focus on the safety and health of its employees," said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA's area director in Lubbock. "We identified a dozen serious safety violations in our inspection, some of which led to a debilitating injury to an employee. This employer needs to act immediately to address the numerous machine guarding and electrical hazards to protect its workers before another serious injury or worse occurs."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Breedlove Foods is an international commercial nonprofit food processor which employs approximately 57 workers at its Lubbock facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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