April 12, 2016
OSHA fines humanitarian relief company in Lubbock after amputation
Breedlove Foods cited for 12 serious safety violations after feed auger debilitates worker
Employer name: Breedlove Foods Inc.
Location: 1818 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., Lubbock, Texas
Date Citation Issued: April 12, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration Lubbock Area Office 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 employer did not provide a safe working environment for its employees. The agency cited Breedlove 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.
Proposed Penalties: $50,400.00
View citations at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BreedloveFoodsInc_1099610_0412_16.pdf
Background: 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.
Quote: "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."
Information: Breedlove Foods, an international commercial nonprofit food processor, 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.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Lubbock Area Office at 806-472-7681.
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Juan J. Rodriguez, 972-850-4709, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-760-DAL
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).