The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined the worker had been cleaning a machine when it activated.
They concluded the incident had occurred because the company had failed to correct prior violations of safety procedures for its equipment.
“The employer’s failure to correct previously identified violations and follow basic safety standards resulted in this preventable incident,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA area director in Marlton.
“Employers are legally required to implement appropriate procedures and provide training to protect employees.”
OSHA has proposed the snack producer pay $206,019 in penalties for “wilfully failing to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures used to de-energize equipment when cleaning; failing to implement lockout procedures to prevent unintentional machine start-up and to train employees on these procedures and hazards.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or challenge the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
J&J Snack Foods manufactures snack foods like soft pretzels and churros under the brand names SuperPretzel, Luigi's and Oreo Churros.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.