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Wegmans Fined an Additional $140K for Repeated Lockout Accidents

Rochester, NY – The bakery division of NY-based supermarket Wegmans again faces steep OSHA fines for repeated lockout tagout failures – this after being fined $188,000 in 2015 for failing to implement lockout tagout procedures in their central baking facility.

These new fines were triggered by a December 2015 incident at Wegmans’ central baking facility in Rochester wherein an employee was injured while cleaning a cindustrial bakery lockout repeated failuresonveyor belt that was still energized. The worker’s hand was caught between the belt and roller, pulling her further into the machine and breaking bones in her hand and arm.

In an investigation after the December 2015 incident, OSHA found Wegmans had not trained its workers to turn off the conveyor belt and lock out its power source while cleaning. Workers were found to have regularly cleaned the machine without turning it off, which is a violation of OSHA’s hazardous energy control standard. The resulting fine of $140,000 is high because of the repeated and preventable nature of the violation.

This isn’t the only sort of accident that can happen at a workplace. When companies don’t give the proper training, or follow safety regulations, then accidents can happen. It could happen to the staff or customers, for example, grocery stores have many common hazards to staff and customers. Spills from soap, spaghetti sauces, juice, and a crowd of shoppers walking through the aisles create a load of safety hazards. But when something like this happens, if not properly dealt with then this could cause someone a serious injury. Doesn’t matter which grocery store someone is injured in, it could be HEB, the victim will be able to make use of someone like this HEB Injury Attorney and claim compensation for their injuries. So the best thing that a business can do is ensure that this doesn’t happen, and follow the safety guidelines (by training their staff properly as well).

Lockout/tagout (hazardous energy controls) violations are on OSHA’s Top 10 “Most Often Cited Violations” and Top 10 “Most Serious Violations” lists. While many companies have general written policies, they often lacking the equipment specific procedures which provide workers with the specific steps to properly isolate energy sources. Lockout/Tagout fines are based on each piece of equipment, and can add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

OSHA also requires that employees be trained on lockout policies and procedures. Training is done to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees.

Lockout Training is one of the 5 Key Components for Lockout Programs, which are as follows:

  1. Equipment Specific Lockout Written Procedures
  2. Lockout Training
  3. Padlocks and Lockout Devices
  4. Periodic / Annual Lockout Audits
  5. Written Lockout Policy

Contact a member of our Safety & Compliance Team for a Free Consultation on How We Can Help with Your Lockout/Tagout Training Needs.

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