Severe Worker Injury Leads to Safety Fines

Sunday, October 5, 2014 @ 11:10 PM gHale

A Columbus Castings worker suffered a broken back, a collapsed lung and partial paralysis of his left leg after becoming pinned in a machine at the steel foundry in Columbus, OH, April 22, according to a report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

An investigation into the incident resulted in fine of $89,500 for two repeat and two serious safety violations from OSHA. The steel foundry faced 11 citations in the past 10 years for exposing workers to dangerous machine hazards at the plant, which produces castings for use in the automotive, mining, agricultural, construction and rail industries.

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“This worker suffered life-altering injuries because Columbus Castings failed to implement basic safety procedures. Workers in this plant operate heavy industrial machinery that can produce castings weighing up to 70,000 pounds, and they deserve protection,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “No one should be injured on the job because their employer failed to recognize hazards and correct them.”

OSHA’s investigation found during maintenance on equipment hydraulics, the company failed to lockout equipment used by the employee, which resulted in two serious safety violations. 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.

The company failed to have adequate machine guarding on the equipment.

In 2010, the company faced citations for a similar violation at this same facility. Lack of machine guarding and lockout procedures are among the most frequently cited OSHA standards. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously faced citations for 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.

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