An accident at a Cambridge candy factory that severed a temporary worker’s left finger might have been prevented if the facility met federal safety and health standards, investigators with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration announced Wednesday.
The incident, which happened at Cambridge Brands on Jan. 6, prompted an investigation into the company’s production habits, as well as MJR Management, which runs Snelling Staffing Services and arranged for the temporary worker’s employment at the factory.
Cambridge Brands is a subsidiary of Toostie Roll Industries, which is based in Chicago. According to the Boston Globe, the factory produces mostly Charleston Chew and Junior Mints candies.
On Feb. 2, OSHA said its inspection revealed that:
- Cambridge Brands “failed to guard moving parts of the candy-wrapping machine against unintended contact, exposing workers to possible broken bones, soft tissue damage and amputation.”
- Neither the staffing agency nor the factory “adequately” trained the worker “about mechanical and noisehazards and safeguards."
- Cambridge Brands “did not certify that it had performed periodic inspections” aimed at preventing “the unintended startup of machinery during servicing and maintenance, and also “failed to report the amputation to OSHA within 24 hours, as required.”
Cambridge Brands was cited for two repeat, three serious and one other than serious violations, and MJR Management for two serious violations of workplace safety standards, the agency announced Wednesday. The repeat violations stem from OSHA’s citing of Tootsie Roll Industries in 2010 and 2014 for similar machine hazards at a plant in Chicago.
Cambridge Brands now faces a total of $46,000 proposed penalties, while Snelling Staffing Services and its owner, MJR Management, face $9,000 in penalties.
Both companies have 15 business days to comply or contest the findings.
“Adequate and effective training is essential so employees can identify and avoid work-related hazards and injuries,” Anthony Covello, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties, said in a statement."
Ed Diamond, who owns Snelling Staffing Services, told the Globe that the accident was the first time any of the company’s temporary employees were ever hurt in 18 years.
“We obviously take this very seriously,” Diamond said. “We’ve been there for him as much as we can.”