HOMERVILLE, Ga. – A 33-year-old woman using a mechanical power press for the first time without proper training or safety guards had two fingers amputated at a Bway Corp. metal and plastic container manufacturer plant.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration IOSHA) said that the Atlanta-based company’s facilities in seven different states have been inspected for worker health and safety concerns 27 times, and that those inspections have resulted in 54 citations for a multitude of various violations.
Among the hazards found were unguarded machinery that exposed workers to serious injury and failure to provide a workplace “free of recognized hazards.”
The most recent OSHA inspection, conducted at the Homerville, Ga., facility, found that the woman attempted to install a latch on a metal ammunition box when the amputation occurred. The agency inspected Bway Corp. in response to the injury and cited the company for four repeated, 15 serious, and three other-than-serious safety violations on Sept. 28.
OSHA also fined SMX LLC, the staffing agency that employed the injured worker, for five safety violations, three of which the agency deemed serious. The penalties for both companies amounted to $217,720.
The serious violations for which the companies were cited involved their failure to properly train the worker using the power press and failure to properly guard the machine.
“A worker suffered a permanent, avoidable injury because two companies failed to provide a safe workplace. That is tragic,” said Robert Vazzi, OSHA’s director of the Savannah Area Office.
Bway Corp. operates 26 facilities throughout North America. The company employs more than 4,000 workers. Seaton Corp., doing business as SMX LLC, is headquartered in Chicago. It employs more than 15,000 workers worldwide, with 88 employees at Bway Corp.’s Georgia facility.