A worker’s accidental finger amputation on the job has prompted federal officials to fine an Ohio pallet manufacturer nearly $200,000 for serious safety violations that contributed to the accident.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Buckeye Diamond Logistics Inc. which operates as BDL Supply, will have to pay fines of $191,794 or contest the proposed fines within 15 business days of receiving notice of the penalties.
OSHA said the injured employee suffered a finger amputation while working with an electrical pallet stack machine, but didn’t offer details about how the accident occurred other than to say the company failed to develop procedures to ensure that its machines wouldn’t power on while being cleaned, serviced, or maintained – a safety measure OSHA calls “lockout/tagout.”
In addition to the lockout/tagout violations, OSHA also cited BDL Supply for failure to install machine guards to protect workers from amputations and other injuries, failure to train its employees on the safe startup of machines, and for exposing workers to electrical hazards in its plant.
The bulk of the penalties – more than $142,000 – were attached to citations for violations that OSHA said were repeated, meaning that the company received OSHA citations for the same violations in the past but failed to correct them.
According to OSHA, more than seven accidental amputations occur every day in workplaces throughout the U.S. More than 90 percent of accidental workplace amputations involve the loss of fingers. Improperly guarded or unguarded machinery and lockout/tagout failures are the most common causes of workplace amputations, according to OSHA.