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Wegmans Facing Possible $188,000 OSHA Fine

The federal safety agency OSHA is proposing that Wegmans be fined $188,000 because of what it calls "recurring hazards" at its 1500 Brooks Avenue central bakeshop manufacturing facility in Gates.

OSHA officials say that injuries to two workers in the facility's  bakery suggest a need for the supermarket chain to address workplace safety for its employees.

OSHA says that in March of this year, a sanitation crew members lost his fingertip when he was cleaning a conveyor. A month later, a mechanic suffered a burn when steam was released when he tried to repair a valve.

Officials say that a recent inspection by OSHA identified hazardous conditions similar to those cited by the agency during a 2011 inspection of that Brooks Avenue location. OSHA has now cited Wegmans for three repeated, and two serious violations.

The company has 15 days to comply, request a meeting with the regional OSHA director or contest the findings.

Wegmans issued this response:

We care about our employees and want them to be safe. Thankfully, our bakeshop employee did not lose his fingertip and both employees fully recovered from their injuries and were able to return to work.

We work hard to maintain a safe workplace everywhere. Even one injury to an employee is too many for us. The current rate of workplace accidents at Wegmans is the lowest in our history

It’s also important that we clear up misinformation in OSHA’s news release. The injuries occurred at our central bakeshop manufacturing facility, not in a Wegmans store. We do not have this equipment in our stores.” – Jo Natale, Wegmans vice president of media relations

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.