Wakefield firm cited in connection with worker’s death

March 18, 2018 GMT

WAKEFIELD — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Michael Foods Inc. of Wakefield for multiple safety violations after an employee suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a dock leveler.

The egg process firm faces $188,464 in proposed penalties, an OSHA spokesman said.

One of the employer’s dock levelers was undergoing maintenance at the time of the accident. A dock leveler is a device used to allow a forklift to travel between a loading dock and a trailer.

OSHA investigators determined that the employer failed to properly brace the dock leveler during the maintenance procedures, causing it to fall onto an employee who was assisting in the maintenance.

As a result, OSHA cited Michael Foods for exposing employees to hazards associated with failing to properly brace equipment during servicing and maintaining; failing to develop written and effective training and procedures for lockout/tagout; and failing to conduct periodic reviews of the company’s lockout/tagout safety procedures. It also found violations relating to electrical and arc flash hazards.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Employers are required to train workers on safety practices, and use appropriate hazard controls to ensure their safety,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s Omaha area office director. “Proper safety controls and training can prevent fatalities like this from occurring.”

Michael Foods has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Funke said.