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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited an auto insulation manufacturer in Oregon, Ohio, following a report that a machine amputated a 46-year-old worker's right hand, wrist and part of his forearm.
Investigators found the injury occurred while the worker at Autoneum North America was guiding waste materials into a shredding machine. His arm was caught in the machine's point of operation, a circular drum that shreds fabric fibers for reuse. OSHA determined the company failed to equip the machine with adequate safety guards when the injury occurred on Dec. 23, 2016. The agency issued three willful and two repeated violations of machine safety procedures with proposed penalties of $569,463.
"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," said Dorothy Dougherty, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "In addition to being the law and the right thing to do, safe workplaces are an important component in supporting and sustaining job growth in America."
OSHA cited Autoneum North America for inadequate machine and point-of-operation guarding, failing to properly train workers on machine-specific procedures for isolating energy sources, no "locking out" equipment to prevent unintentional energization, and exposing workers to struck-by hazards from machine components.
In February 2016, OSHA cited the company for similar hazards at its other facility in Oregon. Based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Autoneum North America is a parts supplier for the automotive industry. The company is a subsidiary of Swiss-based Autoneum, a global market and technology leader in acoustic and thermal management solutions for vehicles.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.