Enforcement and Inspection, Lockout-Tagout

El Paso Machine Shop Facing $596K in OSHA Fines

Dynamic Tool Co. Inc., an El Paso, Texas, machine shop and precision parts manufacturer, faces $596,221 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties, the agency announced November 14. OSHA cited Dynamic Tool with 58 workplace safety and health violations, including two willful safety violations and one willful health violation. 

The agency determined that Dynamic Tool didn’t have machine guarding in place to protect workers from the potential for amputations and other injuries related to nip points, rotating parts, and flying chips and sparks. OSHA also found that the company failed to establish and maintain an audiometric testing program and make testing available to employees who were exposed to excessive noise.

In addition to the willful safety and health violations, OSHA cited Dynamic Tool for several serious violations, including:

  • Not installing lockout/tagout systems to prevent machines from sudden start-ups or movement;
  • Failing to train employees on energy control (lockout/tagout) procedures; 
  • Storing materials improperly and allowing blocked passageways;
  • Not removing unsafe powered industrial trucks from service; 
  • Failing to enclose vertical or inclined belts and gears with required guards;
  • Allowing serious electrical hazards related to flexible cords, junction boxes, and fittings to exist; and
  • Not developing and implementing a noise monitoring program.

Last month, OSHA announced that the agency’s lockout/tagout, machine guarding, and powered industrial trucks standards were among its top 10 most cited standards in fiscal year (FY) 2023, which ended September 30. OSHA cited the lockout/tagout standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.147) 2,554 times in FY 2023; the machine guarding standard (§1910.212) 1,644 times; and the powered industrial trucks standard (§1910.178) 2,561 times.

“The workplace safety hazards our inspectors identified at Dynamic Tool Co. were widespread and deeply concerning given the company’s long history,” Diego Alvarado, OSHA’s El Paso area office director, said in an agency statement. “There is no excuse for allowing the dozens of safety and health failures we catalogued, many of which have the potential to cause employees serious and permanent injuries, or worse. Dynamic Tool must act immediately to protect its employees and comply with federal safety and health laws.”

Dynamic Tool was founded in 1979 as a tool and die shop in El Paso, according to OSHA. It’s a privately owned machine shop and manufacturer of close tolerance components, extrusion items, impact-extruded aluminum components, and precision parts. It’s also one of the nation’s leading producers of cylindrical and elliptical cans, serving customers in the automotive, medical, and military industries, according to the agency.

OSHA conducted its inspection of Dynamic Tool under its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on amputations in manufacturing industries.

The agency issued a revised directive for the NEP on December 10, 2019. Inspections under the NEP focus on compliance with the lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards, as well as compliance with the agency’s woodworking machinery requirements (§1910.213), mechanical power presses (§1910.217), and mechanical power-transmission apparatus (§1910.219) standards. Industries targeted under the NEP include fabricated metal product, food, furniture and related product, machinery, nonmetallic mineral product, paper, plastics and rubber, primary metal, transportation equipment, and wood product manufacturing subsectors.

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