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Oct. 9, 2014 BOS 2014-176

FedEx Ground Packaging System Inc. cited for machine guarding hazard
at Wilmington, Massachusetts, distribution center
Carrier cited for similar hazards in New York and Ohio; faces $44,000 fine

ANDOVER, Mass. – FedEx Ground Packaging System Inc. failed to guard a conveyor belt properly at its Wilmington shipping distribution center and exposed its employees to potential injuries, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. OSHA had previously cited the company in 2010 and 2011 for similar hazards at company facilities in Grove City, Ohio, and Syracuse, New York.

After inspecting the Wilmington facility, OSHA's Andover Area Office personnel determined that the belt conveyor system's rotating parts were insufficiently guarded on the periphery to prevent employees' fingers and hands from getting caught. This could result in injuries, including pinched or crushed fingers and hands, concussions, abrasions or nerve damage. Proper machine guarding ensures that no part of an employee's body can come in contact with a machine's moving parts.

"A basic safety concern went unmet here even though this employer has twice been cited for similar hazards in the past four years," said Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA's acting deputy regional administrator for New England. "It is critical for workers' safety and health that an employer with multiple facilities, such as this, ensures that required safeguards are in place and maintained effectively at all times in all locations."

Because of the prior violations, OSHA has cited the company for a repeat violation with a proposed fine of $44,000. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

FedEx Ground Packaging System Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency's Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov
Andre J. Bowser, 617-565-2074, bowser.andre.j@dol.gov

Release Number: 14-1809-BOS


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