Separate Injuries Brings Safety Fines

Friday, August 22, 2014 @ 05:08 PM gHale


FWT LLC is facing $45,500 in fines for one repeat and one serious safety violation after two employees suffered injuries in separate incidents at the company’s Hicksville, OH, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

FWT manufactures telecommunication towers. FWT has headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and employs 750 workers companywide; there are 170 workers at the Hicksville facility.

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The injured employees were at the facility and operated cranes that loaded telecommunication poles into squaring presses, which flatten part of the poles, when the injuries occurred. On Feb. 25, an employee’s hands ended up crushed by machinery, which resulted in lost work time. On March 17, a second employee ended up pinned between a telecommunication pole and the frame of the squaring press.

“The workers’ injuries were serious and preventable had basic machine guards been provided on the equipment they were expected to use daily,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo. “Lack of machine guarding is among the most frequently cited OSHA violations. FWT has a responsibility to protect its employees from known dangers in its facilities.”

FWT received a repeat violation for failing to provide adequate protection on the squaring press, which exposed workers to amputation hazards. The company faced a similar violation at the Hicksville facility in 2013. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously received the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

One serious violation was for lack of guarding on the squaring press point of operation. The squaring press flattens the knuckles on the end of telecommunication tower poles, and without proper guarding, it can cause catastrophic injury. 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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