DALLAS -- BCW Food Products Inc. in Dallas was cited with three safety violations and proposed penalties of $66,900 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a worker's left arm was amputated by an industrial screw conveyor while cleaning the inside of a packaging machine.
'This is the second time in less than a year that BCW Food Products has failed to comply with OSHA's regulations which safeguard lockout and tagout equipment energy sources. These energy sources can easily expose workers to amputation, as they did in this case,' said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. 'Had the employer followed OSHA standards, this incident could have been prevented. Employers must take their responsibilities under the law seriously.'
OSHA's Dallas Area Office began its investigation in February at the Denton Drive facility. It cited the employer with one willful violation for failing to ensure lockout or tagout devices were affixed by authorized workers to each of the energy-isolating devices. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The repeat violation was cited for failing to indicate the identity of the worker who applied the lockout and tagout devices. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was previously cited in November 2012.
The serious violation was cited for failing to train and ensure that workers understood the purpose and function of the energy control program; the company also did not ensure workers acquired the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage and removal of the energy controls. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
BCW Food Products, a manufacturing company that specializes in custom mixes, bases and concentrates, has three manufacturing facilities and warehouses in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Kansas, Utah and Illinois. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Dallas office at 214-320-2400.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.