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Wegmans cited on safety violations OSHA sets fines of $195,000

Wegmans is facing $195,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the government workplace regulator said it found serious and repeat violations at the grocer's corporate bakery and distribution center in Rochester.

The bulk of the fines -- about $140,000 worth -- come from repeat violations Wegmans had been cited for in the past. Wegmans is accused in several instances of not properly cutting off power sources to machines before workers maintained them, putting them at risk for injury in the case of a machine unintentionally starting back up. Wegmans is also accused of not properly training workers in those so-called "lockout/tag out" procedures, and not devising plans and safeguards to put certain lockout procedures in place.

For example, one worker on a bread-making line was observed reaching into live machinery to remove a jammed bread pan without following procedures that would cut off all power to the machine and prevent it from being unintentionally turned back on, according to citations.

Having a machine turn on unexpectedly "could actually very seriously injure people's extremities," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for Western New York.

OSHA had cited Wegmans for similar citations in 2007 and 2010.

Other violations designated as "serious" include not having proper guard railings to prevent falls, not properly ventilating ovens and not testing or inspecting machinery.

Wegmans said it takes worker safety seriously and is always looking for improvements it can make at its facilities.

"We immediately addressed the majority of issues brought to our attention as a result of the OSHA inspection and are working on others," said Jo Natale, a Wegmans spokeswoman. "A review of the citations is under way to determine our next steps."

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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