Wire Maker Faces Safety Fines

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 @ 02:02 PM gHale

Copper wire manufacturer Tecnofil Chenango SAC faces $124,740 in fines as it continues to expose workers at its Sherburne, NY, manufacturing plant to potential deadly or disabling injuries due to missing or inadequate safeguards for machines used in the manufacturing process, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited the plant in 2013 for several hazards involving unguarded or inadequately guarded operating parts of machines.

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The latest inspection found instances of new and recurring machine guarding hazards on die presses, saws, lathes and other machinery. Hazards included bypassing interlocks designed to stop machines from operating when their doors opened. A related hazard stemmed from not locking out machines’ power sources before changing dies or performing maintenance and not adequately training employees to do so.

“The breadth and recurring nature of these hazards is disturbing,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA’s Syracuse area director. “The purpose of machine guarding is simple: To prevent any part of an employee’s body from coming in contact with a machine’s moving parts. This can result in such serious or fatal injuries as crushing, lacerations and amputations. Tecnofil Chenango must take prompt, effective and ongoing action to eliminate these hazards once and for all.”

The latest inspection also found workers exposed to falls of up to 8 feet from unguarded work platforms, slipping and tripping hazards from floors littered with tools, machine parts, lubricants and coolants and electric shocks from ungrounded equipment.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Tecnofil Chenango for one willful, seven repeated and nine serious violations.