Pasco Food Plant Fined For Safety Violations After Another Finger Amputation
It's the third time in three years that a worker lost a finger working at the Pasco Freeze Pack plant on Highway 12, and now the company is facing stiff fines.
Freeze Pack is a division of Oregon Potato Co, and is facing nearly $93,000 in fines from the Department of Labor and Industries after a worker in June lost part of a finger and fractured his wrist. The man had been cleaning under a conveyor belt and it apparently started up.
Labor and Industries says such operations are required to have what's called 'lock out-tag out' safety procedures in place to prevent any machinery that is being serviced from being started before that work is completed, and the workers are safely away.
Officials say in December of 2014, the company was fined twice for not providing safety for workers from potential harm from a waste conveyor. They have also been cited for other issues as well.
The state says the company will now be considered a "severe violator" and numerous follow up visits will occur to ensure the modifications have been made.
Freeze Pack has appealed the violations, according to KNDU-TV.