Cannery fined for injuries
Thursday, 1 April 2021
Ripon, WI, United States
Seneca Foods' Ripon site
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has imposed a USD177,490 fine on Seneca Foods Corp. for two repeat and three serious safety violations involving forklift training and machine safety procedures at the canning facility.
The fine follows an incident in which a forklift struck and seriously injured a 60-year-old seasonal employee as she walked toward a pallet to label products for shipping at a Ripon facility where vegetables are canned for Libby's and several other brands.
In its November 2020 inspection, OSHA also found that another employee had suffered a fractured finger when it was caught in machinery that the company failed to lockout to prevent unintentional movement, as required. OSHA cited Seneca Foods for similar violations in 2019 at its Gillett facility.
"Employers are responsible for ensuring forklift drivers are re-trained after being involved in an accident or near miss," says the OSHA area director in Appleton, Wisconsin, Robert Bonack. "OSHA has specific regulations for disabling machines and equipment prior to maintenance and service. Injuries can be prevented by ensuring employees receive required training and follow safety procedures."
Based in Marion, New York, Seneca Foods is one of North America's leading providers of packaged fruits and vegetables and distributes to more than 90 countries. The company sources from more than 1,600 American farms for sale under the Libby's, Aunt Nellie's, Green Valley and Seneca brands.