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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Strahle + Hess USA for exposing employees to amputation hazards at the company’s facility in Auburn, Alabama. The auto parts manufacturer faces $140,554 in penalties.
An employee suffered a partial finger amputation while attempting to remove material from a lamination machine. OSHA cited the manufacturer for allowing employees to operate machinery without proper guarding and for failing to develop and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy, lockout energy sources, and notify OSHA within 24 hours of the employee’s hospitalization, as required by law.
OSHA conducted the inspection in conjunction with the agency’s national emphasis program on amputations and regional emphasis program for safety hazards in the auto parts industry. OSHA’s “Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputations” booklet explains how employers and workers can recognize and control amputation hazards, and what safety methods to use to prevent specific machine hazards.
“This company exposed workers to hazards that put them at risk for serious injuries,” said Jose A. Gonzalez, OSHA’s Mobile area director. “Companies must continually evaluate and correct workplace safety deficiencies to ensure workers return home safe and healthy at the end of each day.”
The company has 15 business 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.