Enforcement and Inspection

Manufacturer Wasn’t Insulated from Huge OSHA Fines

OSHA has cited an Ohio insulation company following an investigation into an incident that led to the amputation of a worker’s hand, wrist, and part of his forearm. Get details on this devastating but preventable incident.

Insulation Roll Isolated

DonNichols / E+ / Getty Images

The Toledo-area business is facing $569,463 in proposed penalties after an OSHA investigation into the incident that took place December 23, 2016. According to the agency, a worker was guiding waste materials into a shredding machine when his arm became caught in the machine’s point of operation—a circular drum that shreds fabric fibers for reuse. OSHA found the company failed to equip the machine with adequate safety guards and, in response, issued three willful violations and two repeat violations of machine-safety procedures.

According to acting OSHA administrator Dorothy Dougherty, “This incident illustrates why companies must evaluate machine safety procedures to ensure they are adequate and effective in protecting workers from injuries on the job.” As well as being the law and being the right thing do, providing a safe workplace is “an important component in supporting and sustaining job growth in America,” Dougherty added.

OSHA cited the company for:

  • Inadequate machine and point-of-operation guarding;
  • Failing to properly train workers on machine-specific procedures for isolating sources of energy;
  • Failing to lock out equipment to prevent unintentional startup; and
  • Exposing workers to struck-by hazards from machine components.

In February 2016, the manufacturer was cited for similar machine hazards.

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