An Ohio company is facing the possibility of over $500,000 in fines due to alleged workplace safety violations. The company, which manufactures garage doors, is facing these fines as a potential repeat violator by the regional office of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
Triggering the citations were a series of violations which OSHA says may have culminated with three amputations occurring in a three month period at the end of 2016.
The amputations, which involved several employees losing all or part of a finger, happened when the company allegedly failed to use proper guards and/or failed to use proper safety procedures with their machinery.
The company apparently had three additional citations issued in 2016. With those, they had addressed specific safety concerns related to the specific equipment for which the citations were originally issued in 2013, but were further cited for failing to apply those same safety requirements to other equipment in the facility.
One of the amputations occurred in September of last year when an employee got his finger caught in a press. Another occurred in November when the employee allegedly was not wearing proper safety equipment while troubleshooting a hinge machine.
In addition, the company was accused of not meeting safety standards for electrical hazards, not requiring employees to wear proper safety equipment at all times when handling electrical equipment, and forklift drivers not being subject to performance evaluations for three years.
Also on this company’s list of repeat violations as outlined in the OSHA release were failing to have adequate lockout-tagout methods and failing to follow energy control procedures.
The company is contesting the September amputation citation. As of this writing, they had not yet commented on whether they will also contest the subsequent citations which were issued in April. Companies faced with appeal decisions normally must judge not only the possibility of prevailing, but also the significant cost of mounting an adequate legal defense.
ESC Services is recognized nationally as a leading authority in custom-designed lockout/tagout plans and procedures. We are your safety specialist when it comes to lockout-tagout designs and procedures that can help you avoid the expense of costly fines as well as workflow and business interruption. Most importantly, you can be assured you are doing everything possible to keep your employees safe as they go about their jobs in an efficient, productive and safe manner.