Safety Hazards at MO Aluminum Maker

Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 01:02 PM gHale

Gateway Extrusions’ workers faced exposure to amputation and other serious hazards while operating presses at the aluminum parts manufacturing facility in Union, MO, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited one repeated and eight serious safety and health violations at the facility, with proposed penalties of $63,000. Gateway Extrusions manufactures custom aluminum extrusions and finishes.

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“Lack of worker protections at this facility exposed workers to serious and life-altering injuries,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Gateway Extrusions has a responsibility to protect workers from known hazards at its jobsite, and the number of violations there demonstrates a lack of commitment to that obligation.”

An OSHA inspection in October found two operating machines, including a sander and multipurpose press in the fabrication area, lacked proper safety mechanisms, which exposed workers to amputation and other serious hazards. The company faced a similar violation at this facility in 2013.

OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously received citations for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states in the last five years.

Workers also faced exposure to unguarded platforms and floor openings, electrical hazards and unsecured shelving and storage units. Gateway Extrusions also failed to store gas cylinders properly, did not implement lockout/tagout procedures and inadequately guarded the point-of-operation of some operating machines, such as press brakes.

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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