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News Release

Oregon OSHA, 350 Winter Street NE Room 430, Salem, Oregon 97301-3878

For immediate release:
Nov. 21, 2013
Contact information:
Melanie Mesaros, Public Information Officer
Oregon OSHA cites Springfield meat company
for willful safety violations

(Salem) - The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined Bright Oaks Meat, Inc., $7,850 after an employee's hand was pulled into a meat tenderizing machine. The fine, based on a willful violation, was the result of an inspection on Aug. 12, 2013.

meat tenderizing machine
Meat tenderizing machine.
Click for full-size image.

The accident occurred on Aug. 3, 2013, when a female worker was feeding meat into the tenderizing machine. The investigation found her gloved right hand was pulled into the blades. Two fingers were severely fractured and cuts to her hand required 60 stitches. The report also showed the worker, who had been employed at Bright Oaks Meat for about a year, never used the machine with the guard.

Oregon OSHA cited the business for failing to guard the meat tenderizing machine, failing to report an overnight hospitalization to Oregon OSHA within 24 hours, and lack of a safety committee.

"This employer consciously neglected a safety measure that could have prevented the injury," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "There is no reason for an employer to decide it can simply disregard the rules."

The inspection also revealed the guard had been missing for two years before the accident and no effort was made to replace it. A willful violation, where an employer intentionally or knowingly allows a violation to occur, can result in a $70,000 penalty. In this case, Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, issued a lower penalty because the business is a small employer and the violation was unlikely to cause the death of a worker.

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to www.orosha.org.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.