Twice in a 14-month period, workers at the MooreCo Inc. furniture plant in Temple, Texas, have suffered gruesome injuries because the company ignored critical safety violations, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said.
The accidents happened when workers made contact with inadequately guarded machines and were pulled in. In the most recent case, a machine removed the skin from a worker’s arm starting at the wrist all the up to the shoulder. In another incident, a machine skinned a worker’s wrist and hand and amputated the fingertips.
Following an OSHA inspection, the agency last month cited MooreCo for three repeated and six serious violations. OSHA also put the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses agency resources on problematic companies that have demonstrated indifference to employee safety and health and federal regulations.
Severe violators also ignore their Occupational Safety and Health obligations by committing willful, repeat, and failure-to-abate violations that put their workers at risk of serious injury and death.
An OSHA inspection of the MooreCo facility resulted in the company being written up for three repeat violations and six serious violations.
OSHA has cited MooreCo in the past for exposing workers to moving machine parts and for failing to properly shut down the machines. Regulators found those violations went uncorrected, and two employees were brutally maimed as a result.
Other violations included failure to follow procedures to avoid accidental machinery start-ups during servicing, failure to use protective equipment, and failure to repair electrical hazards company officials knew about.
“These violations exposed workers to dangerous moving machine parts that threaten life and limb,” said Casey Perkins, OSHA’s area director in Austin. “Placing MooreCo in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program means the agency will not tolerate excuses and will hold the company accountable for exposing workers to avoidable hazards.”
Proposed fines for the violations total $122,500. OSHA also cited the Manpower Group USA, which provided the workers to MooreCo, with one repeat violation and a fine of $38,500 for its failure to provide machine guarding.