Wegmans Food Markets has been hit yet again with a fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with the latest incident involving safety violations that caused serious injury to a worker.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a report from OSHA’s Buffalo-area office states that the Rochester-based grocery store chain “failed to train employees on how to properly turn off and clean a conveyor belt and roller system.”
The violations occurred at the company’s Brooks Avenue location where a female employee broke several bones in both her arm and hand. The employee was injured after being caught in the system while trying to clean it because it had not been turned off. After receiving word of the incident, OSHA then handed the company a $140,000 fine for the clear safety violation.
“These hazards and the injury that resulted were preventable,” Michael Scime, OSHA’s area director, said in a statement. “They also reflect an unfortunate and needless pattern.”
Studies show that employee of grocery stores, warehouses, and other businesses handling meat have a 75% chance of workplace injury. The incident, which occurred in December of last year, only adds to this sobering statistic.
“Even one injury to an employee is one too many,” said Wegmans spokesperson Jo Natale, in a statement. “We care about our employees and want them to be safe. Maintaining a safe workplace and creating a culture of safety everywhere is one of our top priorities.”
Despite its recent workplace injuries, Wegmans says its overall rate is the lowest it has been in the company’s more than 100-year history. In 2007, 2010, and 2011, the company was cited for safety violations. Prior to the most recent incident, one employee suffered first-degree burns while another lost part of a finger due to an accident at one of its bakeries in 2015.
From the date of receiving the citation, Wegmans has 15 business days to request a conference or contest OSHA’s findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.