OSHA cites Schwan's for worker injuries

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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SALINA, Kan. – Schwan’s Global Supply Chain Inc. is facing $172,000 in penalties after two employees at the company’s Salina facility suffered amputations and a third individual suffered lacerations and burns, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US Dept. of Labor reported.

An investigation revealed that:

On Aug. 11, 2015, a 55-year-old worker was picking up pizza crumbs and crust that had collected around the oven when her work glove was caught in the unguarded conveyor chain and sprocket drive assembly. Surgeons had to amputate her right hand. She was unable to work for 55 days.

On Sept. 30, 2015, a 49-year-old employee reached into the area of the conveyor to clear a jam of pizza pans when she sustained a laceration, fractures and burns to the palm of her left hand. OSHA investigators determined that safety guards were not installed on operating parts between the top and bottom conveyors. The machine should have been prevented from operating while unjamming the pizza pans. She was unable to work for 46 days following the injury.

On Oct. 23, 2015, a 55-year-old employee was walking under a conveyor in the plant’s “new bakery” area, when she reached up to get her balance. As she attempted to stand, she inadvertently touched an unguarded chain and sprocket underneath a conveyor, resulting in the amputation of the middle finger on her left hand.

OSHA noted that the agency’s investigation revealed other safety hazards, such as workers with ill-fitting personal protective equipment, oxygen cylinders stored near highly combustible material and exit routes that did not meet height and width requirements.

Schwan’s Global Supply Chain is a subsidiary of The Schwan Food Company, a private company that sells popular frozen food brands such as Red Baron, Tony’s and Freschetta frozen pizzas and Mrs. Smith’s desserts.  Schwan’s employs more than 13,000 workers with 1,300 of them at the Salina processing facility.

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