A Green Bay, Wisconsin, auto parts manufacturing firm faces more than $219,000 in federal penalties for safety violations after two plant workers suffered severe injuries on the job just days apart.
Bay Fabrication, a unit of the Bay Family of Companies that operates 75 manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S., acted with plain indifference or willful disregard for worker safety, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials determined last week.
The OSHA investigators determined a worker had his left hand crushed on July 21, 2016, by a molding machine when the tamp head smashed his hand as he removed a mold from the machine. OSHA found the machine’s safety interlock on the door guarding the operating parts was damaged and not functioning properly, which disabled the safety guard and led to the injury.
Less than 10 days later, another worker suffered a partial amputation of his left middle finger. Investigators found the molding machine cycled and caught his finger in an unguarded pinch point. They determined the machine was not properly “locked out” as federal safety rules require.
“The fact that two workers suffered debilitating injuries is tragic. The reality is that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazards even after these injuries,” said Robert Bonack, OSHA’s area director in Appleton. “Adequate and properly installed machine safety guards and lockout/tag out procedures must be in place to prevent workers from coming in contact with operating parts.”
The agency also cited Bay Fabrication for failure to guard operating parts on various machines in the facility, improper installation of safety guards on some machines, and failure to record work-related injuries on the illness and injury logs.
In addition to one willful violation, OSHA hit the manufacturer with four other violations, including one repeated and two serious violations.