Hose Maker Faces Safety Fines

Thursday, May 14, 2015 @ 04:05 PM gHale

A rubber-hose manufacturer in Ohio continues to put workers at risk of amputations and serious injuries by ignoring safety rules for industrial machines, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited HBD/Thermoid Inc., in Bellefontaine, for one willful and 10 serious safety violations and faces $134,000 in proposed penalties after an October inspection under OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

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HBD/Thermoid employs about 1,000 workers corporatewide and manufactures hoses used in a variety of industries, such as transportation, food processing and agriculture. The company also has facilities in Bell Gardens, California; Chanute, Kansas; Salisbury, North Carolina; Oneida, Tennessee; and Eglin, South Carolina.

In May 2014, a worker died after he ended up caught in an industrial machine at the company’s North Carolina location.

“HBD/Thermoid must act now and put required safety guards on large industrial machines,” said Kim Nelson, area director of OSHA’s Toledo office. These machines are used by workers who cut and manufacturer rubber hoses at the company’s six facilities across the country.”

A willful violation was for failing to protect workers from the operating parts of hose balers and hose feed equipment during the manufacturing process.

Workers were also in danger of amputation because machines did not shut down properly before repair and maintenance. The machines also ended up operated without proper safety devices.

Inspectors also noted work platforms and elevator shafts lacked adequate guardrails to protect workers from falls; electrical parts did not end up de-energized prior to performing work; and personal protective equipment to safeguard workers from electrical shock was not available. The firm received 10 serious safety violations.

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