A machine that sizes and cuts rubber hose severed a 52-year-old woman's right arm just nine days after she started a new job as a machine operator at Parker Hannifin Corporation's plant in Kennett, Missouri. After an investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined the machine lacked adequate safety guards to prevent the injury.
The agency issued one repeated and one serious safety violation to Parker Hannifin after the incident on Dec. 23, 2015. In 2013, OSHA cited the company for similar machine hazards at its Kennett facility.
"Imagine the terror this worker felt as her arm was pulled into the operating parts of this powerful machine and cut severely," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "Exposing workers to such hazards is inexcusable. In 2013, OSHA provided safety intervention at Parker Hannifin after a machine lacking guards caused another employee to suffer an amputation. The company needs to take immediate action to protect workers from machine hazards at its facility."
In addition to inadequate safety guards on numerous machines, investigators found Parker Hannifin workers were exposed to trips and falls because floor openings were unguarded. The agency has proposed penalties of $44,000.
Since Jan. 1, 2015, OSHA requires employers to report any severe work-related injury — defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye — within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force. In the first full year of the program, employers reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. In Missouri, 88 workers suffered amputation injuries in 2015.
Parker Hannifin is a leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the company employs approximately 55,000 people in 50 countries.
Parker Hannifin 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.