The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited American Excelsior Co., which is based in Norwalk, Ohio, for machine-guarding hazards after an employee required hospitalization when he suffered a crushed arm. The proposed penalties total $213,411.
OSHA investigators determined that the employee sustained injuries when the machine began operating while he removed product build-up. OSHA cited the company, which manufactures biodegradable erosion-control blankets, for failing to develop or implement energy-control procedures to prevent unintentional machine start-up during maintenance, as well as for failing to train employees in energy-control procedures.
In 2017, American Excelsior Co. received citations for similar violations at its plant in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. OSHA has also placed the company in its severe violator enforcement program.
"This employer failed to implement safety procedures to prevent known hazards," said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA Toledo area office director. "This injury could have been avoided if machine-locking devices had been installed."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.