2 butchers slice off fingertips at Texas store with history of safety issues, feds say

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Federal officials have proposed a $1 million fine against a Texas-based grocery store chain after a series of worker injuries.

Fiesta Mart, a supermarket chain based out of Houston, has been cited 13 times since 2015, according to an Aug. 15 news release from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

During incidents this year at the chain’s grocery stores in Dallas and Plano, two butchers “suffered fingertip amputations while using band saws to cut meat,” OSHA said in the news release.

It follows similar amputation injuries dating back to 2015 in Fort Worth, Garland, Dallas and Plano, OSHA said.

Fiesta Mart has shown a failure to guard its machinery, OSHA said. Each of the 13 citations since 2015 involve the store not properly guarding band saws.

“Despite painful and permanent injuries suffered by a half dozen of its employees since 2015, Fiesta Mart repeatedly ignores required safety standards,” OSHA Regional Administrator Eric S. Harbin said in the release. “The company now faces penalties of more than $1 million for their disregard of the law. Fiesta Mart must change the way it operates before more workers suffer serious injury.”

Fiesta Mart has 15 days to pay the $1,015,189. It also has the option to request a conference with OSHA’s area director or to contest the findings.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on Aug. 16.

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