Safety Fines for Machine Hazards

Monday, September 22, 2014 @ 05:09 PM gHale


After an inspection found workers exposed to amputation hazards from improperly guarded mechanical power presses, MCM Industries Co. is now facing $126,700 in fines for one willful and 17 serious safety and health violations at the Cleveland manufacturing plant, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The plant produces special coiled steel products and springs for the transportation, automotive and agricultural industries. MCM Industries has headquarters in Highland Hills, OH. In addition to the Cleveland cold steel facility, which employs 28 workers, the company has a warehouse facility in Oak Forest, IL, that provides products for Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Co., Honda, Chrysler LLC and Deere & Co.

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“Power presses require a lot of operator involvement, which provides opportunities for serious injury and even death if extreme care and safety precautions are not in place,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “MCM Industries knew how dangerous these machines could be and failed to keep workers safe at this facility.”

OSHA’s March 27 inspection was the result of a complaint. It found that workers faced amputation injuries because mechanical power presses did not have required guards. The company ended up cited for one willful violation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Other amputation hazards, such as lack of machine guarding and failure to implement specific lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machinery from operating during service and maintenance ended up discovered at the facility. In addition, MCM Industries failed to perform periodic inspections of the mechanical power presses; exposed workers to slips and falls from unguarded floor openings; failed to provide eye protection and to conduct annual fire extinguisher training; and did not label hazardous chemical containers properly.

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.



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