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Another worker loses part of finger at bakery firm cited for safety violations

Another employee has lost part of a finger at Bimbo Bakeries, a company with plants statewide whose record of workplace accidents was highlighted by The Times last year as an example of inaction by California health and safety officials.

In addition, the company failed to disclose the 2007 amputation of a different worker's finger, officials at the Division of Occupational Health and Safety said last week.

That brings the company's total number of amputations to nine since 2003, when a worker lost most of her arm in a bread machine.

"I'm just flabbergasted," said Frances Schreiberg, a board member of Worksafe, a nonprofit that advocates for worker safety. "This company doesn't have a grip on how to implement an effective safety program."

Bimbo officials declined to comment.

In January, an employee at the Elk Grove plant, Antonio Guido, lost part of his finger in a tortilla machine that investigators later found did not have proper guards.

Inspectors cited "the willful failure of Bimbo Bakeries to guard the openings around … the tortilla production lines" and insufficient training of workers, among other things. The division recommended $123,000 more in fines, including more willful citations.

In an investigation last fall, The Times found that seven employees had lost parts of fingers or a limb in accidents at California plants over the last seven years. In six of those cases, investigators found that machines did not have proper guards to prevent employees from reaching in, officials said. But many of the penalties levied by the health and safety division, known as Cal/OSHA, were dismissed or reduced on technicalities by the agency's appeals board, so the company wasn't required to immediately fix the problems.

Read the full story here.

-- Jessica Garrison

 
Comments () | Archives (8)

BIMBO BAKERIES? It is a wonder a finger is all he lost

Hey hey, lets not start pointing fingers of blame before all the facts are in.

I used to eat Bimbo bread when I was young and living in Mexico. Every now and then I go to a Mexican market here in L.A. and buy a loaf of Bimbo. Maybe not anymore. Can't say that the bread has been crunchy or anything, but the last thing I want to find is a finger. Who lost a entire limb? Was it an arm or a leg? Was it here in L.A.? Yikes. Simply yikes.

Its the illegals I tell you. That is a disability claim that should be going to an American. Illegal immigrants are taking disability money from unemployed Americans and that ain't right.

so how much did bimbo pay osha's appeal board members?

Ewww...Gross! I will NEVER buy Bimbo's

Bimbo can implement further security measures, but if the accident occurs do to a negligence of the worker or event more, due to an intentional action of the worker (in order to receive the severance payment), I don’t know if there is a lot more that Bimbo can do about it. Think of it, 9 accidents and in the last one Bimbo the paid more than U$120,000 to the worker (more than 6 years of work)---

How ironic that SoCal connected reran their eposode on Cal/OSHA over the weekend. This eposode exposes Cal/OSHA as being employer biased and worker uncaring. Bimbo is only the tip of the iceberg. Employer's may be paying a lot of money in worker's comp fees, but EMPLOYEE'S are treated like criminals just for having a work related injury. The system needs to go.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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