Safeway faces fines after Denver worker loses 4 fingers



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DENVER (AP) — Safeway faces $339,000 in fines following a workplace accident at a milk packaging plant in Denver in which an employee lost four fingers.

The Denver Post reports that the U.S. Department of Labor notified the grocer this week that they have until Sept. 13 to address workplace safety violations and pay the fines, request a conference with officials or contest the investigation’s findings before an independent review commission.

During the workplace accident, which occurred on Feb. 12, an employee was adjusting a molding machine when it automatically cycled and “amputated all four of her fingers on one hand.”

While investigating the incident, representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said they found seven violations of workplace safety rules — including failing to implement safety procedures that would prevent machines from operating unintentionally and failing to provide safety guards around machines.

“Safeway Inc. knew its equipment lacked safeguards, yet the company chose to let work continue without regard to workers’ safety. This indifference caused a worker to suffer a serious and permanent injury,” Amanda Kupper, OSHA’s area director in Denver, said in a statement this week.

The Denver Post reached out to Safeway on Friday, but their interview request was declined.

“We care deeply about the safety of our associates and are committed to compliance with OSHA and similar state and local laws,” said Kris Staaf, a spokesperson for Albertsons Companies, Safeway’s parent company. “We cannot comment on a matter that is the subject of ongoing litigation.”

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