Feb. 3, 2016
Lancaster lawn care company cited for exposing workers to lawn mower
safety hazards after employee has two toes amputated
Employer name: SNS Lawn & Landscape Services Inc., doing business as The Ground Guys, 716 Catherine St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Citations issued: On Jan. 29, 2016, The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for two willful, five serious, and one other-than-serious safety and health violations.
Investigation findings: On Aug. 10, 2015, The Ground Guys notified the agency that an employee suffered a double toe amputation when he lost control of the lawn mower he was operating on a wet grassy slope, prompting an investigation. The amputation occurred less than three months after OSHA investigated another rollover incident in which an employee sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized.
OSHA inspectors determined the company failed to ensure that workers were using a rollover protective system and seat belts when operating the zero-turn mower, and issued a willful citation.
Serious citations were also issued due to the company's failure to use the proper guards on the mower, chemical hazards, and the lack of a hazard communication program. The company was also cited for failing to prepare a written workplace hazard assessment.
Proposed penalties: $42,000
Quote: "This amputation and the incident that preceded it could have been prevented if The Ground Guys had only used the mower's protective system," said Kevin Kulp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Office. "By ignoring this vital safeguard, the company is taking unnecessary risks with the safety of its employees, which is unacceptable."
View the citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SNSLawn_1083847.pdf.
The company 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 and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Harrisburg Area Office at (717) 782-3902.
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Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-225-PHI (OSHA 16-012 The Ground Guys)
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