Gauge Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Workers to Amputation Hazards

Noria news wires

Federal workplace safety and health inspectors cited a Connecticut manufacturer that makes tachometers and speed-measuring devices for 11 serious violations, including amputation, crushing and electrical hazards.

The Hartford Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected Faria Beede Instruments Inc. as part of its national emphasis program to reduce workplace machine and equipment hazards that cause or are likely to cause amputations.

"Moving machine parts can cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands and amputations, if they are not guarded to prevent contact," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director for Hartford. "Unguarded power presses and saws put Faria Beede Instruments' manufacturing facility employees at risk of such injuries. An employer that ensures required guards are in place and effective can prevent worker injuries. Faria Beede is responsible for correcting these conditions before disabling or deadly injuries occur."

In its inspection on May 16, 2016, OSHA discovered the company failed to:

  • Ensure that the guard on a power press prevented entry of hands or fingers into the point of operation.
  • Install a spreader on a hand-fed circular rip saw to prevent wood from striking the operator.
  • Ensure a mechanical power press had a single-stroke safety mechanism to prevent unintended operation.
  • Ensure that pressure vessels used in conjunction with power presses had pressure-relief valves.
  • Provide guards for a mechanical power press using sensing point-of-operation devices.
  • Ensure barrier guard openings on mechanical power presses did not exceed the maximum allowable dimensions.
  • Prevent the hand-control device and point of operation on a mechanical press from being too close.
  • Develop or implement an inspection program for mechanical power presses.
  • Close openings in electrical panels that exposed workers to live parts.
  • Prevent flexible cords and cables from being used as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure.
  • Ensure maintenance workers were trained regarding what work practices and protective equipment would safeguard them from electric shock hazards.

The citations carry $44,100 in proposed penalties.

Established in 1956, Faria Beede Instruments Inc. manufactures analog and digital gauges for industrial and recreational use. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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