Hialeah, Florida-based PGT Industries Inc., operating as CGI Windows and Doors Inc., was hit with nearly $400,000 in fines by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following an inspection prompted after an employee at the plant suffered a partial finger amputation while working on an unguarded punch press.
The penalties include the maximum amount allowed by law for worker safety violations that can cause life-altering injury, OSHA said in a statement.
The window and door manufacturer was cited for failing to implement a program to inspect mechanical power presses and correct unsafe conditions, and failing to develop specific procedures to verify the control of hazardous energy. The company was also cited for failing to ensure that employees wear hearing protection, correct electrical hazards, anchor a drill press, and record injuries and illnesses within the required seven calendar days.
“This employer knowingly disregarded machine guarding requirements intended to protect employees from caught-in and amputation hazards,” said OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director Condell Eastmond.
Manufacturing employers reported that 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The rate of amputations in the manufacturing sector was more than twice as much (1.7 per 10,000 full-time employees) as that of all private industry (0.7). These serious injuries are preventable by following basic safety precautions, OSHA said.
“Workers injured from unguarded machinery and equipment can suffer permanent disability or lose their lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
Source: OSHA News Release