Metal Shop Worker Suffers Amputation In Workplace Injury IncidentNovember 20, 2015
A worker in a Pennsylvania metal shop lost his right leg in a workplace injury incident. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined the employer, Clarion Sintered Metals Inc., for the unsafe working conditions that led to the workplace injury. The OSHA investigation revealed several violations that could contribute to other potential workplace injury incidents. The results of the investigations led to OSHA finding 37 violations of worker safety regulations. The agency fined Clarion more than $70,000 for those violations.
Details of the Workplace Injury Incident
The OSHA investigation probed a workplace injury incident that occurred this past May. The incident involved an employee operating a stationary metal compactor. According to OSHA’s workplace injury report, the employee “suffered an injury at the compactor area while the ram was cycling.” The employee was unable to reach the switch that would have stopped the machine and prevented the damage to his leg. The OSHA report stated that the employee sustained “severe crushing/struck by injuries to their right leg, which then resulted in an amputation.”
OSHA Workplace Injury Report Cites Lack Of Safety Measures
The OSHA report also stated that the compactor in the workplace injury did not have any warning signs. The report also stated that the company failed to “develop equipment-specific lockout/tagout procedures,” such as an emergency shutdown system. When the workplace injury occurred, the nearest emergency stop switch for the compactor was more than eight feet from the edge of the material feed area. The employee sustained crushing injuries in the accident, forcing doctors to amputate his right leg.
Workplace Injury Report Mentions Other Safety Violations
Among the other potential sources of workplace injury noted in the report was the lack of a handrail on a stairway from the factory floor to a pit under a machine press. The lack of the handrail could lead to employees slipping off the stairway and falling into the pit beneath the press, which could lead to a serious workplace injury. The report also mentioned “inadequate guards” around and behind the powdered metal presses. The investigation also revealed “storage racks with damaged structural components” and a damaged safety latch near a tank in which employees dipped metals with a protective coating.
Workplace Injury Leads To Thousands In Fines
The two OSHA inspections of Clarion revealed 37 safety violations., including a lack of hearing protection for workers exposed to sounds nearing 90 decibels. The workplace injury violations, combined with the other breaches of worker safety regulations, caused Clarion to incur fines of $74,000. The local director of the OSHA office told a local newspaper that the company is working with the agency to comply with federal worker safety rules. Representatives with the company did not comment on the workplace injury incident, but had reportedly scheduled a meeting with OSHA officials to reach a settlement on the fines.
Source: Bradford Era
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