After two workers had their index fingers partially amputated in separate workplace accidents last October, federal investigators found numerous machines that lacked required safety guards inside the Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) plant in Holdrege, Neb.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the global medical technology company on April 11 for one repeat and 12 serious safety violations that the agency said contributed to the finger amputations, which occurred on Oct. 14 and Oct. 22, 2015. Multiple other hazards not related to those injuries were also found, resulting in proposed fines of $122,700.
BD is a global medical technology company operating in 190 countries with more than 45,000 employees. The New Jersey-based company develops, manufactures, and sells medical supplies, devices, laboratory instruments, antibodies, diagnostic products, and other products. It serves health care institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as consumers.
Jeffe Funke, OSHA’s Omaha-based area director, called on Becton, Dickinson and Company and other Nebraska manufacturers to do a better job of preventing debilitating worker injuries, saying that the recent amputations at BD were just two among many such injuries in the state.
“In 2015, a total of 52 Nebraska workers suffered preventable amputation injuries,” Mr. Funke said. “OSHA’s common sense safety standards require manufacturers to provide training, safe guards and procedures to prevent workers from coming in contact with the operating parts of a machine. Employers like BD must do more to protect workers from these debilitating injuries.”
OSHA’s investigation of BD’s Holdrege facility found that machines lacked proper guarding to prevent workers from making physical contact with moving parts. The company also failed to take proper precautions to prevent workers from falling, reduce electrical and fire hazards, provide eye-washing stations for workers exposed to corrosive chemicals, and equip machines with locking devices to prevent machines from turning on when they were being serviced or maintained.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor