May 2, 2022
Worker suffers arm amputation from brick crushing machine with previously
identified defect, employer failed to repair deficiency
TYK America Inc. fined $108,769 for 11 safety violations after OSHA investigation
CLAIRTON, PA – A Pennsylvania manufacturer’s failure to provide guarding on a brick crushing machine ended in a 53-year-old worker suffering an arm amputation while operating the machine. A subsequent federal investigation at TYK America Inc.’s Clairton manufacturing facility found the company previously identified a deficiency with the machine’s guarding but kept the machine operational and did not repair the deficiency prior to the amputation incident.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited TYK America for 11 safety violations – including one willful and eight serious – following an investigation initiated on Nov. 18, 2021. OSHA proposed $108,769 in penalties for the violations.
Inspectors determined that the injured worker’s left hand and arm were caught and pulled into the rotating drums of the machine while loading brick pieces into it. OSHA found the company failed to provide guarding to prevent employees from having any part of their body in the danger zone during operation. This hazard was identified during previous periodic inspections of the machine by the employer, but repairs were never made – a willful violation cited by OSHA. Additional serious violations and other-than-serious violations included a lack of warning labels and guarding on machinery and workers exposed to electrical, crushed-by and struck-by hazards while using a damaged hoist to lift lance pipes and molds weighing up to approximately 1,619 pounds.
“TYK America Inc. could have prevented this incident by simply repairing the machine and ensuring it was properly guarded,” said OSHA Pittsburgh Area Director Christopher Robinson, in Pittsburgh. “OSHA holds employers legally responsible when they jeopardize worker safety and health.”
TYK America Inc. – a refractory products manufacturer - is headquartered in Clairton. The company, a subsidiary of TYK Corp. of Japan, has 15 business days from receipt of 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.
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Release Number: 22-637-PHI
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