June 22, 2016

Potato processor appeals $213,000 safety violation fine

Washington Potato Co. is appealing a $213,000 fine from the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, the Tri-City Herald reports. The potato processor was reportedly fined for repeat safety violations.

Here’s more from the Tri-City Herald:

The state inspected the plant after a worker was seriously injured when his arm was caught in an augur. The worker had been cleaning the equipment when a second employee, unaware of the first, started the machine.

The state fined the company $213,160 for 24 separate violations of workplace safety regulations, with escalating fines for repeat violations.

Violations included safety procedures to prevent machinery from starting or moving during service, not properly installing guards around a pulley and belt system, an uncovered well and failure to identify “confined space” hazards such as wastewater pits, vaults, and boilers.

The company filed an appeal June 14 challenging all 24 violations, the fine and being identified as s “severe” violator.

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