Worker Loses Part of Finger at Large Commercial Bakery
Another employee has lost part of a finger at Bimbo Bakeries, a company with plants throughout California whose record of workplace accidents was highlighted by The L.A. Times last year. Bimbo Bakeries USA makes a number of well-known brands of breads, tortillas and pastries, including Orowheat, Tia Rosa and Entenmann’s
The company’s total number of amputations is nine since 2003!
“Nine Bimbo Bakeries workers have had parts of digits or a limb amputated since 2003 at plants across the state, where regulators have found inadequate training and machines without proper guarding.”
In an investigation last fall, the L.A. Times found that seven employees had lost parts of fingers or a limb in accidents at California plants over the last seven years. In six of those cases, investigators found that machines did not have proper guards to prevent employees from reaching in, officials said.
In October, Cal/OSHA sent its “high hazard” unit to four California Bimbo plants. Inspectors found equipment that lacked proper guarding. The division fined Bimbo $230,000, including more than $120,000 in rarely issued “willful” citations for companies that intentionally disregard safety regulations. Bimbo has appealed those charges.
Then, in January, an employee lost part of his finger in a tortilla machine that investigators later found did not have proper guards.
Inspectors cited “the willful failure of Bimbo Bakeries to guard the openings around … the tortilla production lines” and insufficient training of workers, among other things. The division recommended $123,000 more in fines, including more willful citations. (read full story here)
What Can I do to Keep My Employees Safe?
The following page provides links to numerous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) resources and information designed specifically for smaller employers, including the free On-site Consultation Program, safety and health tools and publications, easy-to-follow guides for specific OSHA standards, and descriptions of benefits that small businesses receive from OSHA.