Worker loses fingers at egg farm affiliated with DeCoster

Posted Nov. 10, 2011, at 9:49 a.m.

TURNER, Maine — Federal safety officials are investigating after a worker lost two fingers at an egg farm Sunday morning.

Bill Coffin, area director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the accident was reported by management at Maine Contract Farming LLC on an OSHA hot line. His office also received a tip through someone who contacted the state.

“We responded on Monday,” Coffin said. “It’s still an open investigation so there’s not really much I can give other than we’ve been on-site.”

Few details were available other than that the accident happened at 8 a.m. at 272 Plains Road. Investigations can take up to six months.

“If there is a violation, what we do is issue a citation,” Coffin said. “If it’s serious, which this probably would be, it would be a citation and penalty to the employer.”

Companies are only required to report accidents to OSHA that involve a fatality or result in at least three people being admitted to the hospital, he said. “It doesn’t happen that often that we get notification, but as it turns out, we would have been on-site anyway because we received a referral from the state of Maine.”

Maine Contract Farming is affiliated with the former DeCoster family of egg farms. Calls left for comment weren’t returned. This week, a deal was announced with Land O’Lakes for a lease-purchase agreement on the farm.

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