Kroger cited after worker cuts off fingertip

Posted at 5:31 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 21:45:18-04

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Kroger was cited and fined $45,500 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an employee at the North Bend Road store sliced off his fingertip while butchering meat.

OSHA inspectors found guarding on a bandsaw wasn't adequate for meat he was cutting and wasn't properly adjusted. They also found Kroger didn't have a proper training program for employees changing out the bandsaw's blades.

“It is as simple as making sure that the device is unplugged and is what we call 'locked out, tagged out,'" OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said.

Last year, the agency found a Kroger store off Harrison Avenue and another in Proctorville, Ohio also failed to have proper guarding on their equipment.

“This is a significant penalty amount simply because it was a repeat violation," Allen said. "This company should've known and should've protected that worker and had previously been cited for the same type of violation."

Kroger was given 15 days to either request a hearing with OSHA or appeal the penalty, at which point it would go before a committee.

In a statement, Kroger spokeswoman Patty Leesemann said employee safety is a top priority for the company.

"We have safety procedures and processes in place and require training on all equipment used by our associates," the statement said. "We are cooperating with OSHA in its investigation of this incident."