Case Synopsis: A worker was monitoring the flow of vegetables into a chopping machine. The machine’s inlet would occasionally clog, requiring the worker to clear out the jammed vegetables. The plant’s procedure to clear the clog was to shut down the chopper machine, thereby stopping the blades, and then use a plastic paddle to clear the clog in the inlet. On the day of the incident, the worker chose not to shut down the machine or use the plastic paddle to clear the jam. While reaching into the inlet, the worker extended their hand into the machine, placing their hand in the path of the rotating blades. The worker sustained amputation of all four fingers and part of their hand and thumb.
The plaintiff alleged the machine was defective because it allowed the worker to be exposed to the sharp, rotating blades. They indicated the machine should have been designed to automatically shut down in the event of a clog to prevent a worker from coming into contact with the blades when they were active. Continue reading “Be Careful Where You Put Your Hands!”