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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 06-979-BOS/BOS 2006-168
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

Smith's Aerospace Components Fined $167,500 Following Partial Amputation Accident

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A partial hand amputation at a Manchester, Conn., airplane parts manufacturing plant has resulted in fines totaling $167,500 from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Smith's Aerospace Components Inc. was cited for seven alleged repeat and five alleged serious violations of safety standards following an inspection by OSHA's Hartford area office that began Feb. 21, when a worker lost a thumb and part of a finger in an unguarded hydraulic press. The inspection found several instances where this press and other machines either lacked guarding to prevent employee contact with moving parts or guarding mechanisms had been bypassed, rendering them ineffective.

"The lack of effective guarding exposes employees to just this type of serious crushing injury," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "This plant has been cited for similar violations in the past, which warrants the citations and fines."

The alleged repeat violations included failure to provide adequate fall protection, failure to correct defective lifting slings, unguarded grinders and failure to inspect mechanical power presses. The Manchester plant was cited by OSHA for similar hazards in 2004 and 2005. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has previously been cited for a similar hazard and that citation has become final.

The alleged serious violations included failure to provide adequate machine guarding, failure to use lockout/tagout procedures and failure to mark the lifting capacity of two portable jacks used to support die press beds. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health can contact OSHA's Hartford area office at (860) 240-3152. A toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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