Alabama Spice Importer Fined $147K After Finger Amputation

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JACKSON, AL — On Aug. 8, a 61-year-old maintenance employee of iSpice LLC in Jackson, AL had part of his finger amputated while adding wrapping material to a machine that started and trapped his hand. His employer failed to ensure proper guarding was installed. The incident occurred less than six months after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the global spice importer in a separate investigation for exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards.

OSHA cited iSpice for not ensuring that machine guards were in place or adequate while employees worked in close proximity to rotating components on machines. The company also exposed workers to fall hazards by allowing them to work on an open-sided mezzanine 12 feet above the next level without a complete guardrail system, and allowed employees to work near uncovered electrical boxes and light switches, and a machine with exposed live parts. The company faces $146,751 in penalties.

“Once again, this employer disregarded safety measures and their neglect resulted in a serious injury that should never have happened,” said OSHA Area Director Jose Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama. “Employers have a responsibility to comply with OSHA standards that are in place to keep workers safe on the job.”  

OSHA cited iSpice LLC in April and assessed $121,511 in penalties.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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