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U.S. Department of Labor | June 20, 2016 BOS-2016-095

OSHA cites Wegmans Food Market's Rochester bakery for repeat safety
violations after operating conveyor injures employee's arm
Food retailer faces $140k in fines for 'preventable', recurring hazards

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A simple task for an employee at Wegmans Food Market Inc.'s commercial bakery in Rochester instead resulted in a needless and severe injury. As the worker cleaned an operating conveyor belt and roller on Dec. 16, 2015, her hand was caught between the belt and the roller and the machine pulled it in. She sustained broken bones in her hand and arm.

An investigation by the Buffalo Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that - in violation of the agency's hazardous energy control standard -- bakery employees cleaned the conveyor belt and roller routinely without turning it off and locking out its power source. Investigators also found Wegmans failed to train employees on how to do so. OSHA cited the bakery for similar hazards in October 2011 and September 2015.

"These hazards and the injury that resulted were preventable. They also reflect an unfortunate and needless pattern. OSHA has repeatedly cited the bakery for similar lockout and training hazards over the past five years, including incidents in 2015 in which one employee sustained a finger injury and another suffered a first-degree burn," said Michael Scime, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "Wegmans must take effective and ongoing action to ensure that its bakery employees are properly trained and safeguarded so that incidents and injuries such as these do not happen again."

As a result of its latest inspection, OSHA has now cited Wegmans for two repeated violations of workplace safety standards and proposed a total of $140,000 in fines for those violations. The new citations can be viewed here.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 89-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's 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 Buffalo Area Office at 716-551-3053.

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.

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Media Contact:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov
James C. Lally, 617-565-2074, lally.james.c@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-1240-NEW


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