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The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has fined a Battle Ground, Washington, dairy and trucking company $1.9 million for 22 willful safety violations, making it the second-largest safety and health fine in state history, the department announced on Tuesday.
Of the violations issued to Green Willow Trucking, also known as Andersen Plastics and Andersen Dairy, 16 were also determined to be egregious, meaning employees were exposed to amputation/crushing hazards each of those times, according to a statement.
The latest in a series of company inspections over the past five years, investigators examined the worksite recently after a worker at the company’s bottling facility had her hand crushed in a plastic bottle-molding machine while she was trying to clear a jam, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, employees at the company have reported serious injuries and amputations over several years, many of those injuries triggered inspections that in 2014, 2015 and 2018 resulted in willful and serious violations related to lockout/tagout and machine guarding hazards, according to the statement.
"We want to stop these preventable amputations and serious injuries," Anne Soiza, L&I assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said in the statement. "We’ve explained to the employer how to prevent injuries from these hazards in the past and have yet to see a sustained adoption of safe procedures on the production lines."
Most workers injured on or before July 1, 2017, will see a 5% increase in time-loss and pension benefit payments this month, based on increases in the state’s average wage and state law that requires that benefits be recalculated annually, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced Friday.