OSHA cites Klosterman Baking for safety violations

by Company facing more than $146,000 in fines.
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Klosterman Baking Co. truck
OSHA has proposed penalties of $146,979 against Klosterman Baking Co.

CINCINNATI — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties of $146,979 against Cincinnati-based Klosterman Baking Co. for one willful and two serious violations of safety standards.

The OSHA penalties come a little more than a month after a 28-year-old maintenance worker lost part of his right arm in an improperly guarded bread wrapping machine at a Klosterman facility, and federal safety inspectors investigating the injury found another worker exposed to the same hazard.

OSHA said Klosterman, which operates production and distribution facilities in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, continued to allow employees to clean the machine without isolating operating parts, a process known as lockout/tagout.

Klosterman Baking Co. bread
Klosterman Baking Co. provides bread products to more than 4,000 commercial customers.

“A 28-year-old worker suffered a permanent and debilitating injury because his employer failed to follow required safety procedures and isolate energy to this machine before allowing workers to clean it,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Just as tragic is the fact that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazard even after this young man lost part of his arm. Klosterman needs to make immediate changes to its safety procedures and protect workers on the job.”

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. 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/tagout procedures, and failed to reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 lbs per square inch. A full list of the citations is here.

Klosterman Baking Co. provides bread products to more than 4,000 commercial customers, including restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and schools. The company, which did not respond to a request to comment from Milling & Baking News, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. 
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