Georgia Worker’s Severe Saw Injury Uncovers Multiple Safety Violations

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A saw worker at FPL Food LLC in Augusta, Georgia was severely injured Dec. 3, 2015 when a hydraulic saw lacerated his abdomen so that he cut meat.

OSHA discovered that the saw’s safety cut-off switches were not functioning properly.

The agency cited FPL Food for exposing workers to falls on platforms without rails; electric shock from improper wiring; and amputations from unguarded cutting blades. Additionally, the employer did not provide a fully functional eyewash station for workers handling leaking batteries. The company also failed to train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.

“The results of this investigation clearly indicate that FPL Food’s safety and health management plan is ineffective and not being enforced,” said William Fulcher, OSHA’s area director in the Atlanta-East Office. “Management must make worker safety its top priority and be engaged in enforcing it.”

Proposed penalties: $67,270

FPL Food is a fresh meat processor that prepares, packs and ships beef products to food service and retail customers. The company employs nearly 400 workers in Augusta.