BRAINTREE, Mass. – When U.S. Department of Labor inspectors returned to a Boston food plant in March 2023, they discovered the plant’s operator — Chinese Spaghetti Factory Inc. — still had not installed required safety guards on a dumpling machine’s rotating shafts, a dangerous hazard for which the company was cited for after an employee suffered serious injuries in 2022.
The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted the follow-up inspection at the Newmarket Street facility to verify that the company had corrected the unsafe conditions identified in 2022. As a result, OSHA proposed an additional $82,500 penalty for failing to correct this hazard.
The agency’s safety inspection and a concurrent health inspection found several new and recurring hazards, which led OSHA to issue citations and propose $108,031 in penalties for the following:
- A willful violation for allowing the dumpling machine’s gears to remain unguarded, as two employees worked in close proximity to the hazard.
- Two repeat violations for exposing employees to the risks of electrical shock and injuries from unguarded electrical components and unguarded operating parts of a forming and filling machine, conditions similar to hazards for which OSHA cited the company in 2022 and 2019.
- A serious violation for lacking a program or procedures to prevent the unintended activation of various machines, including grinders, choppers, and forming and filling machines, while employees cleaned and maintained them.
- Three serious violations for an incomplete hearing conservation program for employees exposed to high noise levels, inadequate eyewash facilities for employees working with corrosive cleaners and an incomplete chemical hazard communication program.
Since 2017, OSHA inspections have identified 10 serious, repeat and other-than-serious violations at the Chinese Spaghetti Factory’s location. In total, the company faces $190,541 in proposed fines for its recent uncorrected, recurring and new hazards.
“The sizable penalties in this case reflect the gravity of this situation and the dangers faced by people employed at the Chinese Spaghetti Factory’s facility,” explained OSHA Area Director James Mulligan in Braintree. “The employer’s willingness to ignore federal regulations and failure to correct workplace hazards, including one that seriously injured a worker, is unacceptable. Safety and health is a fundamental right for every worker and must be a company-wide core value.”
Chinese Spaghetti Factory Inc. 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.