Amputation Leads to Safety Query

Friday, June 22, 2012 @ 02:06 PM gHale


Truck manufacturer Stahl/Scott Fetzer Co. is facing $90,000 in fines for six safety violations – including one willful – after a worker had several fingers amputated while operating an unguarded press break March 19 at the Wooster, OH, plant, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials said.

After OSHA initiated an inspection, a second amputation occurred April 19 at the plant.

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“Manufacturing companies are responsible for knowing and following recognized standards regarding the use of potentially dangerous machinery in their factories and ensuring that all proper precautions are taken to prevent workers from being injured,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland.

One willful violation involves failing to ensure the points of operation remain guarded on the two press brakes, which bend sheet metal. Both workers suffered injuries while using the unguarded press brakes. 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.

Five serious safety violations include failing to develop machine-specific “lockout/tagout” procedures as well as provide training for employees in the use of a portable fire extinguisher, the operation of powered industrial trucks and first aid. Additionally, the company failed to develop a bloodborne pathogen program, and conduct monthly and annual crane inspections. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Wooster-based Stahl/Scott Fetzer Co. has 94 workers at its Wooster facility, but the employs about 200,000 workers throughout the United States and Canada. The company had five previous inspections, resulting in the issuance of six serious and 43 other-than-serious violations.



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