The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Gilman Cheese Corp. for 10 safety violations after a worker had two fingers cut off by an unguarded packing and labeling machine in December.
The agency, which is proposing $126,700 in fines, says another worker suffered a similar amputation in January 2012.
"This tragedy could have been prevented if Gilman Cheese Corp. ensured adequate machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures," Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire, said in a statement Thursday. "Too often, compromised safety procedures have tragic consequences."
Gilman Cheese has 15 days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with Hysell or contest the citations and penalties before the independent OSHA review commission, Hysell said.
Tom Hand, the owner of the company, did not immediately return a telephone message Thursday. Gilman is in western Taylor County.
Of the 10 safety violations cited at Gilman Cheese, OSHA classified two as "willful," meaning they were committed with disregard for the law's requirements or "with plain indifference to worker safety and health."
Hysell said Gilman Cheese was placed in OSHA's severe violator enforcement program, which mandates more inspections.