EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of CHOOLJIAN BROS. PACKING COMPANY - DAR


During the cleaning of a raisen auger, the auger was energized and an employee reached under the trough to remove the drain cover. The cover had already been removed and his fingertips entered the trough and were severed. The Division alleged a serious violation of section 3314(a). A mesh guard over the drain and the sliding cover had spaces at the sides large enough for a hand. Hence, it was inadequate protection when the cover was removed. The auger screw did not have to be energized until the employees began washing out the trough with water. They were not doing that yet. The required movement exception did not apply. The screw was energized and the employee was exposed. A violation was established. The serious classification was proper. Employer could have known that the employees were not at the stage of cleaning that required movement of the auger at the time of the accident. It was substantially probable that contact with the screw could result in death or serious physical harm. The independent employee action defense was rejected. Employer failed to prove that the foreman effectively enforced the safety program or that the employee knew he was in violation of a safety rule.

CHOOLJIAN BROTHERS PACKING CO., INC. 95-R2D5-2549
June 15, 2000