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Region 5 News Release: 12-1412-CHI
July 24, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:         312-353-6976
Email: burke.rhonda@dol.gov    allen.scott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Bridgford Food Processing after 2 workers
injured, including an amputation incident, at Chicago meat processing facility

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Anaheim, Calif.-based Bridgford Food Processing Corp. with four safety – including willful and repeat – violations – at the company's Chicago meat processing facility after a worker suffered amputations of two fingers on Feb. 7 while operating a vacuum packaging machine. A second worker had been injured operating the same machine on Jan. 25, and suffered deep lacerations and tendon damage on four fingers. Proposed fines total $184,000 following an inspection that was opened following the incidents.

"Bridgford Food Processing previously was cited for improper lockout procedures and machine guarding. Repeat violations demonstrate a blatant disregard for employee safety and health," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Machinery in the food processing industry is inherently dangerous, and the company has an obligation to take necessary precautions to prevent injuries."

OSHA found that workers used magnets and other tools to override guarding interlock systems on machines. One willful violation stems from not affixing lockout/tagout devices to all energy sources and preventing workers from coming into contact with machines' points of operation. OSHA deemed this violation willful because, despite the company's history of injuries caused by lockout failures, Bridgford had taken few precautionary measures to prevent similar incidents at the facility. A willful violation is