Amputation Hazards at Vehicle Maker

Monday, August 25, 2014 @ 11:08 AM gHale

Vehicle manufacturer, McLaughlin Body Co., is facing $43,000 in fines for exposing workers to amputation hazards at the company’s two plants in Rock Island and East Moline, IL, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated the inspections in March after receiving complaints alleging unsafe working conditions at both plants. The inspection found nine serious violations.

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McLaughlin Body Co. engineers and fabricates vehicle cabs, enclosures and metal components for agricultural, construction and military use and for heavy-duty vehicles.

“Manufacturers that operate dangerous industrial equipment must be aware of the hazards workers face daily while working with this machinery. It is an employer’s job to ensure that its workforce is adequately trained and protected,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria.

Many of the serious violations involve failing to protect workers from moving machinery parts during servicing or maintenance, including failing to train workers to recognize hazards and the proper machine lockout procedures. Equipment lacked adequate machine guards designed to prevent injuries, such as amputations. Amputation hazards are among OSHA’s most frequently cited violations.

Other violations involved failure to train workers on confined space requirements and proper operation of powered industrial vehicles. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

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