OSHA Cites Baking Company After Worker Suffers Amputation

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Just five weeks after a 28-year-old maintenance worker lost part of his right arm in an improperly guarded bread wrapping machine at the Cincinnati-based Klosterman Baking Co., federal safety inspectors investigating the injury found another worker exposed to the same hazard.

On Nov. 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed penalties of $146,979 for one willful and two serious violations of safety standards at the Klosterman facility. Inspectors found the large wholesale baking company – with production and distribution operations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee – continued to allow employees to clean the machine without isolating operating parts, a process known as lockout/tagout.

Investigators determined the worker was using an air wand to remove bread crumbs from the machine and conveyor belt when he was injured on May 29, 2016, resulting in the amputation of his right arm just below the elbow. Federal safety inspectors found workers cleaning the same wrapper machine on July 7, 2016, without locking out operating parts, exposing them to amputation and other serious injuries, resulting in the willful violation.

OSHA also found the company:

  • Failed to conduct periodic inspections of machine lockout/tag out procedures.
  • Reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch.

Based in Cincinnati, Klosterman Baking Co. provides bread products to more than 4,000 commercial customers including restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, and schools.