May 25--A local Tootsie Roll subsidiary has been fined after a temporary workerlost part of his finger in the factory's candy-wrapping machinery.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration yesterday said it was fining Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.'s Cambridge Brands Inc. and MJR Management, a Boston staffing agency operating as Snelling Staffing Services, a combined $55,000 after the tip of an unidentified male machine operator's left index finger was amputated while operating a wrapping machine in January.
OHSA would not identify the worker. It said the Jan. 6 incident might have been prevented if Cambridge Brands had met federal safety and health standards, and if the temporary employee had been properly trained.
"Both employers had a responsibility to adequately train temporary workers about hazards and safeguards associated with their work duties, and both failed to do so," Anthony Covello, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties, said in a statement. "We found that the temporary workers did not receive the same level of training as permanent employees at Cambridge Brands."
It's unclear what types of candy Cambridge Brands produces at its 142,000-square-foot facility at 810 Main St. in Cambridge. Chicago-based Tootsie Rollmakes Tootsie Rolls and Pops, Blow Pops, Dots, Junior Mints and Charleston Chews. The companies could not be reached for comment.
OSHA conducted an inspection of Cambridge Brands and MJR in February after learning of the on-the-job injury, as Cambridge Brands failed to report the amputation within 24 hours, as required.
The inspection found Cambridge Brands failed to guard the candy-wrapping machine's moving parts against unintended contact, exposing workers to possible broken bones, soft-tissue damage and amputation. Cambridge Brands also failed to certify it had performed periodic inspections of its energy control procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during servicing and maintenance, OSHA said. Cambridge Brands and MJR also failed to train the worker about mechanical and noise hazards and safeguards.
Cambridge Brands faced $46,000 in proposed penalties. OSHA cited the company for two repeat, three serious and one "other than serious" violations. It said the repeat violations stem from OSHA's citing of Tootsie Roll in 2010 and 2014 for similar machine-guarding hazards at its Chicago location.
Snelling faces $9,000 in penalties for two serious violations of workplace safety standards related to adequate training.
Company officials could not be reached for comment.
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