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Oregon Processor Fined over Meat Tenderiser Accident

25 November 2013

US - The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined Bright Oaks Meat $7,850 after an employee's hand was pulled into a meat tenderising machine.

The fine, based on a wilful violation, was the result of an inspection in August this year.

The accident occurred on 3 August, when a female worker was feeding meat into the tenderising machine.

The investigation found her gloved right hand was pulled into the blades. Two fingers were severely fractured and cuts to her hand required 60 stitches.

The report also showed the worker, who had been employed at Bright Oaks Meat for about a year, never used the machine with the guard.

Oregon OSHA cited the business for failing to guard the meat tenderising machine, failing to report an overnight hospitalisation to Oregon OSHA within 24 hours, and lack of a safety committee.

"This employer consciously neglected a safety measure that could have prevented the injury," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood.

"There is no reason for an employer to decide it can simply disregard the rules."

The inspection also revealed the guard had been missing for two years before the accident and no effort was made to replace it.

A wilful violation, where an employer intentionally or knowingly allows a violation to occur, can result in a $70,000 penalty. In this case, Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, issued a lower penalty because the business is a small employer and the violation was unlikely to cause the death of a worker.


TheMeatSite News Desk

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