WI Machine Operator Fined after Amputation

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 @ 05:11 PM gHale

KG Marketing and Bag Co. is facing $78,325 in fines for one willful violation of OSHA’s machine-guarding standard and one other-than-serious violation for failing to report an amputation within the required 24-hour reporting period, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated an investigation at the Waukesha, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of plastic bags for commercial use after learning a worker suffered a partial amputation of his right index finger on April 22, while clearing a jam on a bag-sealer machine.

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Inspectors found the machine’s safety guards — light curtains installed by the manufacturer – ended up disabled.

The curtains prevent workers from coming in contact with machine blades and other moving parts.

“Each year hundreds of workers are injured because employers disable or bypass machine guards to maintain production,” said Christine Zortman, area director of OSHA’s Milwaukee office. “Injuries, like the one suffered by this worker, are preventable by following OSHA and manufacturer safety procedures, training workers to recognize hazards, and maintaining adequate machine guarding.”

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