Health Manufacturer Fined for Crushing Hazards

Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 02:05 PM gHale

A Salisbury, MA, manufacturer is facing $93,200 in fines for exposing workers to caught in machinery or crushing hazards, based on findings of an inspection by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Andover Healthcare Inc., a maker of coated fabrics and adhesives for the health care industry, is facing the fines for two repeat and seven serious violations, OSHA said.

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OSHA’s Andover Area Office began its inspection on Jan. 9. The inspection discovered the company inadequately trained employees to implement lockout/tagout procedures that protected workers who serviced or maintained dangerous machines. OSHA cited Andover Healthcare for similar hazards after a 2010 inspection and the company received two repeat violations for these recurring hazards, with $65,000 in fines.

“It’s vital that employers develop and implement adequate lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance,” said Jeffery Erskine, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. “Failure to do so places employees at risk of being caught in or crushed by machinery if it turns on during service or maintenance.”

OSHA found workers exposed to struck-by and crushing hazards from damaged or insecurely anchored steel storage racks and an unmarked crane lift. Additional hazards included unguarded machinery, a defective power cord and obstructed exit access. These conditions resulted in citations for seven serious violations, with $26,200 in fines. Finally, the company also received two other-than-serious violations, with $2,000 in fines, for failure to record injuries properly, which resulted in medical treatment or lost workdays.

OSHA conducted the inspection under its Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on facilities with a higher than average illness and injury rate.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously received the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. 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. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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