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Gainesville facility where liquid nitrogen leak happened previously cited for 'serious' violations, partial amputation

Two of the incidents resulted in serious injuries to employees, according to the report.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A cumulative report regarding Foundation Food Group from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), indicates at least six separate incidents involving health and safety violations - some with penalties attached. 

The OSHA report indicates that at least two of the incidents involved serious injuries to workers. 

According to the report, on April 6, 2017, an employee guiding a batch of meat product into a vat got his hand caught in a screw auger, amputating four fingers on his right hand.

Then, while operating under the name Prime-Pak Foods, the company was penalized $25,097 as a result of what OSHA said was a repeat violation in connection with the incident.

The report said that a few months later, on July 6, 2017, an employee was separating chicken before it went through a cuber. According to the OSHA report, when the employee removed the guard from the cuber to clear a jam, his left hand was pulled into the machine. 

Credit: WXIA

As a result, the report said, the employee suffered a partial amputation to his ring and pinky fingers on his left hand.

The company was penalized $12,548 for what OSHA said was a serious violation as a result of the incident.

RELATED: 6 killed, a dozen hurt following Gainesville hazmat situation involving liquid nitrogen

Two reports without injury reports attached occurred in 2020. One was listed as having occurred on May 26. It was classified as relating to food production and amputation, but did not have a fine attached. 

The other is dated Dec. 10, 2020, and is listed as an open case. 

According to OSHA, violations may be added or deleted to the inspection report in that case.

RELATED: How can liquid nitrogen result in death?

Four other incidents did not include information regarding injuries to employees, but they did indicate complaints.

One, dated Sept. 14, 2015, included 28 separate citations. The emphasis, according to the report, are under the category of forklift and amputation. 

According to the report, there were 17 initial violations classified as "serious," and six classified as "other." The report's violation summary lists six current violations classified as "serious," and seven listed as "other."

The total initial penalty is listed as $84,060, while the total current penalty is listed as $42,600.

RELATED: Here's what we know about the Gainesville hazmat situation

The more recent complaint without injury information is dated June 5, 2019, according to the OSHA report. According to the report, the complaint is a forklift complaint. It lists one "serious" initial violation and one "serious" current violation. Likewise, it lists one "other" initial violation and one "other" current violation. 

The initial penalty is listed as $6,251, and the current penalty is listed as $3,751.


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