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Pan-O-Gold facing $260K in fines following injury at Sun Prairie plant

The incident is the second federal investigation into the Sun Prairie facility since 2019

Village Hearth plant in Sun Prairie
Injuries at the Village Hearth plant in Sun Prairie in 2019 and 2023 resulted in OSHA investigations Photo courtesy of Google Maps

The company that owns a Sun Prairie commercial bakery is being fined more than $260,000 following a federal investigation into a worker’s injury at the plant.

According to OSHA, Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. has been cited for two repeat workplace safety violations, along with six “serious violations” and two “other-than-serious” violations. 

It’s the second time since 2019 the agency has investigated injuries at the company’s Village Hearth plant in Sun Prairie. In 2023, a worker was injured while adjusting a sensor in a bread pattern forming Machine, OSHA said. The company allegedly failed to report the injury, as required.

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The repeat violations relate to safety practices for machinery, while the six serious and two other violations relate to employee training, machine guarding, hand protection and injury reporting.

In a statement, OSHA Area Director Chad Greenwood in Madison said the Sun Prairie employee’s injury was “life-altering” and could have been prevented by Pan-O-Gold had the company been following required safety procedures that would have stopped the machine from “unexpectedly” starting up.

“This worker and his family are now forced to face an uncertain future and the personal and financial struggles that come with suffering disabling injuries and being unable to return to work,” Greenwood said.

OSHA investigated amputation and laceration injuries at the Sun Prairie facility in 2019. From 2020 through 2022, OSHA found Pan-O-Gold’s injury rate was 160 percent higher than the industry average.

In a statment, Pan-O-Gold said the company plans to challenge all allegations of safety violations. The company says ensuring the safety of its employees is a top priority. 

“We have taken the necessary steps to not only comply with all safety recommendations but to exceed them, reinforcing our commitment to providing a safe working environment,” the statement reads. “Pan-O-Gold will be meeting with OSHA shortly to discuss the safety citations.”