OSHA has proposed Lauren Manufacturing pay $274,934 in penalties after two workers suffered debilitating injuries related to the company’s lack of machine safety.
An investigation was launched on the New Philadelphia, Ohio manufacturer after a pneumatic bench cutter severed a 27-year-old employee’s finger as she cut rubber material on June 22, 2016. This is the second debilitating injury suffered by an employee in less than 18 months, according to the agency.
“Companies need to evaluate safety procedures to protect employees from injuries on the job,” said Larry Johnson, OSHA’s area director in Columbus in a statement. “Particularly, they need to take a hard look at machinery operations and how workers are trained on safety.”
OSHA inspectors identified four repeated, six serious and three other-than-serious safety violations of machine safety procedures at Lauren Manufacturing after inspectors found the employer did not adjust the machine’s light curtains which serve as safeguards properly to prevent the worker’s hand from coming in contact with the machine’s operating parts.
The company also allowed temporary workers to operate machinery without training on proper procedures to isolate energy to operating parts during service and maintenance. The company also failed to develop and implement adequate lockout/tag out procedures and periodically inspect such procedures. In addition, Lauren Manufacturing did not provide protective footwear or adequate personnel protective equipment to protect employees from burns and exposed workers to live electrical contacts.
OSHA previously cited Lauren for lack of machine safety procedures after a worker’s arm was crushed in a hydraulic mold press. The agency also cited Lauren Manufacturing for four safety violations in that case. With citations related to the current amputation investigation, Lauren Manufacturing has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program.