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Wegmans cited for workplace injury suffered by 2 bakery workers

Even though the law requires employers to provide safe workplace environments in which known hazards are addressed, preventable workplace accidents continue to occur. Dangerous areas must be dealt with in a manner that do not threaten the safety of workers. These requirements span all industries, as each workplace poses unique safety hazards that could cause a workplace injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into two workplace accidents that occurred at the premises of Wegmans in upstate New York. The first incident occurred at the bakery company in March when the power to a conveyor belt that was being cleaned by a worker was not shut off. Because the conveyor was not locked, it activated unexpectedly and caused the tip of the employee's finger to be amputated.

In a second incident, a month later, a worker was repairing a steam valve at the bakery when he was severely burned by the scalding steam. His injury was classified as a first-degree burn. OSHA found that these injuries were preventable and that the company failed to provide proper safeguards, despite having been cited for similar violations in 2011.

New York workers should not be exposed to dangerous conditions that could have been avoided had their employers complied with prescribed safety regulations. Understandably, a workplace injury can have a severe impact on the financial stability of a worker. Time off work can adversely affect his or her income, and high medical bills may worsen the situation. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance system covers most workers, and benefits are offered to cover medical expenses and a percentage of lost income for missed time from work while recovering.

Source: eater.com, "Wegmans Slapped With $188K in Fines Over Safety Violations", Khushbu Shah, Sept. 14, 2015

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