Amputation Leads to Safety Fines

Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 05:05 PM gHale

A 23-year-old worker at a metal stamping company lost three fingers on his right hand after they ended up crushed in a power press in January and his company, Wellington Stamping is facing $49,000 in fines, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA inspectors said the incident did not have to happen as they found the company did not train the worker on safely operating the mechanical press, which also lacked adequate safety mechanisms.

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Their investigation of the incident, in which the man suffered the loss of his right pointer, middle and ring fingers while clearing a machine jam, produced seven violations for Wellington Stamping.

“Our investigation found this young man’s serious injuries could have been prevented if his employer had complied with OSHA safety standards. The company must correct these discrepancies,” said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo.

OSHA investigators found Wellington Stamping failed to train workers in energy control procedures, such as powering off and affixing locking devices. Doing so prevents the machine from turning on unexpectedly and causing a dangerous amputation hazard.

In total, seven serious citations ended up issued. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

The incident ended up reported to OSHA by Shiloh Industries Inc., operator of Wellington Stamping, under new self-reporting requirements that went into effect Jan. 1. Those requirements mandate that employers must report amputation injuries within 24 hours.

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