Food Company Fined $70,000 for Seasonal Farm Worker’s Injury

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A seasonal farm worker from Mexico was cleaning a room in a company’s food processing facility, which contained tomato-peeling machines, each with a waste chute connected to a trough. A power screw auger pushed waste material through the trough. The worker was cleaning the area around one of the machines and tried to step over the trough. His foot slipped into the trough and got caught in the auger. He suffered serious injuries to the foot, which had to be partially amputated. An MOL investigation found that no guard had been installed on this machine, which was new, so the auger was fully exposed. The food company pleaded guilty to a safety violation and was fined $70,000  [Sun-Brite Foods Inc., Govt. News Release, Feb. 9, 2015].