Standard Cited: 5A0001 OSH Act General Duty Paragraph

Violation Items
Nr: 122375512 Citation: 02082 Issuance: 07/12/1996 ReportingID: 0112900
Viol Type:WillFul NrInstances:25 Contest Date:07/23/1996
Abatement Date:08/17/1996 X Nr Exposed:25 Final Order:08/18/1997
Initial Penalty:55000.00 REC: Emphasis:
Current Penalty:28600.00 Gravity:05 Haz Category:LIFTING

Penalty and Failure to Abate Event History
Type Event Date Penalty abatement Type FTA Insp
Penalty Z: Issued 07/12/1996 55000.00 08/17/1996 WillFul  
Penalty F: Formal Settlement 08/18/1997 28600.00 08/17/1996 WillFul  


Text For Citation: 02 Item/Group: 082 Hazard: LIFTING

Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970: The employer did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likelyto cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees were exposed to aggravated medical conditions as a resultof delayed medical treatment and lack of adherence to medical work restrictions: a)Plant 1 - On June 11, 1995 around 5 am an employee had three fingers amputated by unguarded belt and pulley drive on a pit scraper drive unit. The switchboard was closed and a co-worker tried, unsuccessfully, to reach farm manager and first aid/medical assistance. Finally, "911" was called by co-worker who left plant and went to trailer to use phone. b)Plant 1 - (1/18/96) The employer had restricted phone access, and employees working after the switchboard was closed could not access an outside phone line to dial "911" for emergency medical care. c)Feed Mill, Leeds, ME- (1/24/96) The employer had restricted phone access, and employees working after theswitchboard was closed could not access an outside phoneline to dial "911" for emergency medical care. d)Feed Mill, Leeds, ME- (1/24/96) No instructions were posted instructing employees what to do in the event of a medical emergency. e)Plant 8 - (1/31/96) The employer had restricted phone access, and employees working after the switchboard was closed could not access an outside phone line to dial "911" for emergency medical care. f)Plant 1 - (1/18/96) No instructions for attaining emergency medical care were posted in the Plant. g)Plant 1 - (1/18/96) No employees in this complex had beentrained in providing first aid and first aid kit was empty. h)Plant 5 - (2/28/96) No employees in this complex had beentrained in providing first aid and no instructions were provided to attain prompt emergency assistance. i)Plant 5 - (2/28/96) No instructions for attaining emergency medical care were posted in the Plant. j)Plant 6, Leeds, ME - (1/24/96) No employees in this complex had been trained in providing first aid and Plant Manager indicated that he would provide assistance without personal protective equipment. k)Plant 7 - (2/14/96) No employees in this complex had beentrained in providing first aid. l)Plant 8 - (2/28/96) No employees in this complex had beentrained in providing first aid. m)Rendering Plant - (3/15/96) Neither employee in this facility had been trained in first aid, and there was no procedure in place for when employees work alone, more than 6 hours a day, to summon assistance should they have a medical emergency and be unable to reach the phone. n)Garage, Paint Shop- (1/30/96) An employee welding and painting alone works where there is no phone and no procedure in place to summon assistance should this employee have a medical emergency. o)Plant 8 - (1/31/96) An employee had a broken thumb from a malfunctioning lock on egg cart shelf in March 1995 and a DeCoster manager indicated that employee could not be taken to the Hospital because they were too busy. p)Hatchery - (2/7/96) An employee sustained a back injury in June 1995 and was put onrestrictions by physician, but medical restrictions were not followed when he returned to work, and employee was required to perform routine overhead manual lifting. q)Plant 3 - (2/7/96) In November 1995 an employee slippedon snow and ice on DeCoster property walking to work fromhis trailer, broke his ankle and hurt his back. Unable to walk, a DeCoster manager refused to make arrangements for him to be taken to the Hospital because he was too busy. r)Plant 8 - (2/6/96) An employee injured by a tipped egg cart in the Packing plant on or around June 27,1995 requested medical treatment two days after accident, whensymptoms persisted, and was repeatedly told by a DeCostermanager that arrangements for treatment could not be made. She experienced persistent nose bleeds for 15 daysfollowing the accident. Finally, 18 days after the accident, a friend took her to the emergency room and DeCoster arranged for her to be seen at The Health Center on July 12,1995. Employee was diagnosed with bi-lateral cervical neck strain, left trigger finger and right leg lumbosacral radiculopathy. She was put on medical restrictions after she was initially seen and the restrictions were ignored by the employer. The employee repeatedly tried to return to her full duties. These attempts were unsuccessful and, in the process, she sustained further injury (concussion and head contusion from experiencing dizziness and falling at work). Employee underwent hand surgery for trigger finger in January 1995. As of May 1996 employee was not working, although the employer continued to attempt to return employee to work full duty. The employee has continued to suffer from multiple ailments associated with initial injury. s)Plant 1 - (1/18/96, 2/6/96) An employee with a cumulativetrauma shoulder injury reported symptoms over two year period and no arrangements for medical care were made. The symptoms worsened, resulting in numbness and discomfort in left hand. Said employee was finally seen, at OSHA's request, and put on medical restrictions on 1/28/96. Medical work restrictions were ignored and employee was returned by a DeCoster manager to full duty, further aggravating her condition. t)Plant 2 - (1/25/96) An employee who injured a finger while working in November 1995, requested medicaltreatment from a DeCostermanager and lost two days of work, but no arrangements for medical attention were made. u)Bird Crew - (2/14/96) An employee sustained a hip injury and puncture wound on 2/7/96 while unloading birds. A DeCoster manager indicated that he was too busy to transport employee for medical care and requested that a co-worker take employee back to his trailer. Finally, after two days, the injured employee was taken to be seen at The Health Center. He returned to work and was unable to perform his full duty job. He was told by DeCoster manager that he would be put on a light duty job, but was returned to his regular job. Employee endured further pain and discomfort, stayed home from work, and got a ride from a friend to the Hospital. There he was given a Tetanus shot and instructions not to work for two days. v)Bird Crew - On or around 2/29/96 employee was stuffing birds in the 70s barns and was injured due to malfunctioning equipment when his hand and wrist was pinched between barn door and bird cart. The employeerequested from his supervisor to be taken for medical care, however the supervisor instructed another employee to take the injured employee back to the trailer park. The supervisor stated that he would come to the trailer park within 1/2 hour to transport injured employee to the hospital. After waiting 1 1/2 hours and in significant pain, the injured employee asked a co-worker for a ride to the Hospital. A friend of theinjured employee waited at the injured employee's trailer to notify the supervisor that injured employee had been taken to the Hospital, but the supervisor never returned. w)Plant 2 - (3/5/96) An employee injured a finger when she slipped walking over the conveyor the previous week. She reported injury to the Farm supervisor and requested medical attention. The Farm supervisor told her that he didn't have time and that she should ask a co-worker to take her after work. Co-worker was unable to provide transportation and injured employee continued to request arrangements be made for her care. No arrangements were made to transport injured employee. x)30s complex - On or around 5/19/96 a bird crew employeesustained a leg injury. Immediately following the injurythree Farm supervisors came to see the injured employee at the Barn. One of the supervisors instructed a Barn Manager to take the injured employee back to the motel where the employer was housing employees. The injured employee was told that someone would come to the motel the following day to take him to the Hospital. The injured employee waited in significant pain for two days, when finally on 5/21/96 a Farm supervisor arrived to transport injured employee to the Hospital. When the injured employee asked why no one had come the previous day, as promised, he was told that no one had time before then to take him. The employee had no personaltransportation, as he hadrecently arrived at the Farm, by bus, after being hired through a farm labor contractor in Texas. y)Egg Processing Plant - On or about 2/26/96, an employee sustained a lumbar strain while packing eggs in the egg processing plant. The employee was put on medical restrictions prohibiting bending or lifting. Restrictions were not honored when the employee returned to work. The employee was instructed to work 4 hours a day and was required by the Farm manager to work 8 hours a day. The employee's condition did not improve and as of July 1, 1996, the employee was unable to perform her regular job and was out of work. Abatement Note: Among other methods, some feasible and acceptable methods to reduce or eliminate employee exposure include but are not necessarily limited to: 1) Enable all phones to access "911" or local emergency medical assistance directly; 2) Develop and post emergency procedures in work areas in languagesspoken by employees; 3) Personnel trained in first aid (Red Cross equivalent) shall be available during all working hours and shall be provided with firstaid supplies appropriate for the types of injuries anticipated. 4) Arrange for the provision of timely medical care for employees injured at work; 5) Adhere to medical orders regarding work restrictions; 6) Designate appropriate light duty work.