Ohio Manufacturer Cited after Worker's Finger is Amputated

Noria news wires

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Smithville Manufacturing Co. in Wooster, Ohio, for 21 health and safety violations, including one willful, after receiving a complaint that a worker's finger was amputated at the facility by an unguarded press machine. OSHA has proposed penalties of $65,800 as a result of the December 2012 inspection.

The willful violation was cited for failing to ensure point of operation guards were in place on mechanical power presses at the stamping facility, which does short-run productions of automotive parts. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

"Smithville Manufacturing has a responsibility to follow all safety guidelines, including the use of properly adjusted and adequate machine guarding to protect workers from injuries, such as amputations," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "Employers must recognize the hazards that exist in their workplaces and develop safety and health policies and procedures to protect workers on the job."

A total of 18 serious violations were cited, nine of which involve lack of or improperly adjusted guarding on equipment, such as shears, grinders, screw machines and drill and power presses. Other violations involve failing to establish and train workers on energy-control procedures, ensuring employees lock-out equipment prior to conducting maintenance or service, training workers on the use of fire extinguishers, establishing die-setting procedures, conducting weekly press inspections, developing a written hazard communication program, and training workers on the hazards of chemicals in the workplace. Two other-than-serious health violations were issued for failing to develop a written respiratory protection program and blood-borne pathogens program.

The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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.

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