A processed food supplier was cited and faces proposed penalties of $242,197 over an incident where a temporary worker’s finger was amputated, the US Department of Labor announced Dec. 11. The incident occurred June 23 at a Zwanenberg Food Group USA facility in Cincinnati. It was the second amputation within a year at the company’s facility.

In the most recent incident, a 29-year-old temporary worker’s finger was amputated when the worker reached into a meat grinder’s discharge port that lacked required safety guards, according to the department. OSHA cited Zwanenberg for two repeat violations: one for not having required machine guarding on the discharge port and one for failing to train employees on the company’s lockout/tagout procedures.

Another 29-year-old temporary worker suffered a leg amputation after falling into an industrial blender he was cleaning on Oct. 12, 2022, according to the department.

It’s also the fourth time since 2017 that OSHA inspectors have found that the company violated lockout/tagout safety standards meant to protect workers from contact with moving machine parts, the department said. The company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program in 2017.

OSHA viewed the most recent incident as part of a pattern, which led the agency to investigate if workers at Zwanenberg faced imminent dangers from unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery, according to the department. Production was paused after the incident, and the company agreed to correct guarding hazards, train employees on machine safety and implement safety program improvements. OSHA will monitor the progress.

The company has contested the findings. SIA has reached out to Zwanenberg for comment.

“While they have taken a first important step at this plant, Zwanenberg Food Group needs to change their workplace culture and make worker safety a priority,” OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery said in a press release. “As an employer, they are responsible for protecting their temporary workers and making sure they are trained on workplace hazards and control measures to address those hazards.”

In April 2023, OSHA assessed the company $1.9 million in proposed penalties related to the October 2022 temp worker injury case, according to the department. OSHA cited the plant for similar violations less than two weeks before the October 2022 injury. The company is also contesting both 2022 investigations.

Based in Cincinnati, Zwanenberg is a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Zwanenberg Food Group, founded in 1875.