A grisly amputation at a Toledo, Ohio-area auto insulation and parts manufacturer prompted an investigation that ended with nearly $570,000 in proposed penalties for violations that put workers at serious risk of injury and death.
On Dec. 23, 2016, an employee of Autoneum North America in Oregon, Ohio, was guiding waste materials into a shredding machine when his arm became caught in the machine’s circular shredding drum, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said.
The 46-year-old worker couldn’t free his arm and the machine amputated his hand, wrist, and part of his arm.
OSHA investigators looking into the amputation accident found the company failed to equip the machine with adequate safety guards, thereby exposing workers who used it to amputation hazards.
OSHA issued Autoneum three willful and two repeat violations concerning the safe operation of its machinery. The violations include:
- Inadequate machine and point-of-operation guarding
- Failure to properly train workers on machine procedures for isolating energy sources.
- No “locking out” equipment to prevent unintentional powering
- Exposing workers to struck-by hazards from machine components
“This incident illustrates why companies must evaluate machine safety procedures to ensure they are adequate and effective in protecting workers from injuries on the job,” said Dorothy Dougherty, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “In addition to being the law and the right thing to do, safe workplaces are an important component in supporting and sustaining job growth in America.”