Turns out, the safety guard was never installed on the machine.

The Occupational Safe and Health Administration (OSHA) may overstep it's bounds sometimes, and it's been the butt of hundreds of jokes and cartoons over it's sometimes overzealous approach to safety.

But this time, we think they got it right!   OSHA's Oregon Division has fined Bright Oaks Meat Co. of  Salem $7,850 after investigating an incident where a female employee's hand was pulled into a meat tenderizing machine (pictured).  The incident occurred on August 3 of this year.

The worker's gloved hand was partially crushed and cut, requiring over 60 stitches, and her fingers were severely fractured!   Turns out,  the safety guard that would have prevented her hand from even coming close to the blades was NEVER installed, and the worker had never used it with the guard in place!

A previous OSHA inspected from two years ago revealed the guard was missing, and Bright Oaks officials were notified about it.  A warning was issued.   OSHA called this incident as a "willful violation," hence the hefty fine.   Had the incident been even more damaging or fatal,  OSHA says it's fine would have been many times higher.   Safety officials have to follow a guideline for assessing penalties based upon severity and significance of the injury.   Size of the business is also taken into consideration.

Just imaging OUR hand inside that contraption gave us the willies!