Severe Injuries Bring Safety Fines

Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 04:01 PM gHale

In less than 10 days, two employees at a Green Bay, WI, muffler component manufacturer suffered severe injuries as they operated machinery without adequate safety guards and procedures in place, federal workplace safety investigators have determined, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued one willful, one repeated, one other-than-serious violation and two serious violations to Bay Fabrication. The company, part of the Bay Family of Companies with 75 locations in the U.S., faces $219,242 in fines.

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Investigators determined a worker had his left hand crushed on July 21 by a molding machine, when the tamp head smashed his hand as he removed a mold from the machine. OSHA found the machine’s safety interlock on the door guarding the operating parts suffered damage and was not functioning properly which disabled the safety guard and led to the injury.

On July 30, another worker suffered the partial amputation of his left middle finger. In this instance, investigators found the molding machine cycled and caught his finger in an unguarded pinch point. They determined the machine was not locked out as required.

“The fact that two workers suffered debilitating injuries is tragic. The reality is that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazards even after these injuries,” said Robert Bonack, OSHA’s area director in Appleton. “Adequate and properly installed machine safety guards and lockout/tag out procedures must be in place to prevent workers from coming in contact with operating parts.”

OSHA also found the company:
• Failed to guard operating parts on various machines in the facility
• Improperly installed safety guards on machines that created a hazard for employees
• Failed to record work related injury on the illness and injury logs

Based in Green Bay, the Bay Family of Companies operates 40 corporations that produce a variety of insulation products used in the industrial and automotive industries.

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