A worker at an Illinois food manufacturer lost their finger after it got stuck in a machine, the DOL said.The DOL cited Hearthside Food Solutions and asked it to pay $231,625 in penalties.The DOL said it was the 20th time the company had been cited in the past five years.LoadingSomething is loading.The labor department said an accident at an Illinois food manufacturer that resulted in an employee losing a finger was the twentieth safety violation by the company in the last five years.In a press release, the Department of Labor said Friday that it has cited Hearthside Food Solutions 20 times “for exposing workers to amputation and other serious hazards.” In the latest incident, the DOL said it received a referral from the firm in October after a maintenance employee had one finger amputated, and another partially amputated, while troubleshooting a carton-closing machine at Hearthside’s facility in Romeoville, a town 26 miles southwest of Chicago.Investigators from the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the worker’s hand had contacted the machine’s pulley, the department said.In the citation, OSHA asked Hearthside to pay $231,625 in penalties for three violations related to the carton-closing machine.James Martineck, OSHA director for the Chicago south area, said that OSHA standards are put in place to prevent workers from suffering life-altering injuries. He added: “This company’s history of violating federal standards shows a corporate culture that lacks urgency to keep workers safe. Hearthside Food should immediately re-evaluate its training and safety procedures at all of its facilities.”Hearthside didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. The DOL did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment about whether the employee lost their finger during the incident or whether it was amputated by medical workers afterwards.OSHA said that the company had not listed specific procedural steps for shutting down the equipment, “thereby exposing employees to caught-in, electrical, and pneumatic hazards during servicing and maintenance activities.” The machine wasn’t turned off when the worker who was injured performed the servicing work and the company had also failed to use lockout procedures to control hazardous energy sources, OSHA said.Hearthside operates 38 production sites across the US and Europe, which make snack bars, cookies, granola, baked goods, and other fresh and frozen foods sold under various name brands. It also manufactures packaging for food products.On its website, Hearthside says: “The safety of our people and products always comes first.” It says that it has a network-wide OSHA incident rate of 1.25, which takes into account the number of workplace injuries and hours worked. The average rate for food-manufacturing companies in 2020 was 5.1, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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