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OSHA fines Park Ridge food facility after worker loses part of finger

A northwest suburban poultry processing facility has been fined more than $50,000 by the federal government after a worker lost part of his finger in a machine.

The Aspen Foods Inc. worker lost part of his right middle finger while clearing a paper jam on April 18, according to a statement form the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company is based in Park Ridge and provides food service, retail and quick-serve chicken products.

Inspectors found the machine lacked adequate safety guards to protect workers from dangerous moving parts by using locking devices to prevent operation while clearing the paper jam, according to the statement.

OSHA issued four serious violations to Koch Foods Inc., which does business as Aspen Foods.

“This worker permanently lost part of his finger because his employer failed to follow basic safety procedures for preventing machine operation during service and maintenance–procedures it was certainly aware of after it recent citation,” Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director, said in the statement.

“It is disheartening to cite an employer repeatedly for hazards they know are exposing workers to life-altering injuries like this,” Webb said.

The proposed penalties total $52,500.