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Firm Faces $702,300 in Fines After Death

June 19 2012

Tribe Mediterranean Foods, a subsidiary of Nestle SA, was cited for 18 alleged violations of workplace safety and issued a total of $702,300 in proposed fines after the death of a contract worker at its Taunton, Mass., plant on Dec. 16, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported Monday.

The contract worker was cleaning a machine used in hummus manufacturing when he was caught, pulled into the machine and crushed to death between two rotating augers, according to OHSA.

An investigation by the agency found the deceased worker and six others were not trained on “lockout/tagout” procedures to ensure that machines are not operating and cannot unexpectedly activate and harm workers, OSHA reported.

“The employer knew it needed to train these workers so they could protect themselves against just the type of hazard but failed to do so,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “The result was a needless and avoidable loss of life.”

Tribe has 15 days to comply with the proposed penalties or contest the findings.

Here is a link to the citations.

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