The operator of a food processing plant in Cincinnati is facing $1.9 million in proposed OSHA penalties after a 29-year-old temporary worker, who had been working on an overnight sanitation shift, suffered horrific, life-long injuries: he fell into an industrial blender and, in a dire turn of events, got caught in rotating paddle augers, resulting in an amputation of his leg.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration uncovered that Zwanenberg Good Group USA Inc., had failed to train sanitation workers to lockout equipment prior to cleaning, exposing them to moving machine parts – OSHA had even cited the plant for similar violations just two weeks before the tragedy. Bill Donovan, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago, said, “This young man suffered a preventable debilitating injury because his employer failed to train him and the majority of its third-shift sanitation workers adequately to lockout equipment to ensure their own safety.”

Further investigation found that Zwanenberg had neglected to verify changes to the lockout/tagout procedures, retrain workers when changes occurred, periodically test the procedures and correct deviations. There were also other issues such as trip hazards, a lack of electrical safe work procedures, eye protection, and personal protective equipment assessments