Nov. 30, 2015
OSHA finds Seaford, Delaware, ice plant failed again to guard
machinery, resulting in employee suffering amputation of both legs
Incident marks 2nd worker amputation at Seaford Ice Inc.
SEAFORD, Del. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation on May 28, 2015, after learning of a worker amputation at Seaford Ice Inc. The agency found that the employee fell into an unguarded conveyer opening while breaking ice, which resulted in the amputation of both of his legs below the knee.
Following the May incident, OSHA cited the company on November 18 for one willful, five serious and three other-than-serious violations. The agency cited the willful violation for lack of machine guarding. Electrical hazards, unguarded machines, hazard communication violations and the absence of a lockout/tagout program, which prevents the accidental start-up or movement of machinery, were among the serious violations. The other-than-serious violations involved lack of a personal protective equipment assessment and electrical violations. Proposed penalties total $77,000.
This was the second time a worker suffered an amputation due to lack of machine guarding at the company's Seaford plant. In 2012, an employee had a foot amputated after it touched a conveyor. OSHA determined that the conveyor openings were too large and its guard inadequate.
"Seaford Ice disregarded employee safety by not ensuring a proper guard on the conveyor belt, leading to a preventable amputation. This is unacceptable considering the company knew after the 2012 incident that the machine lacked safeguards to protect workers. Despite this warning, Seaford chose to expose workers to hazards, and a second employee was needlessly injured," said Erin G. Patterson, OSHA's area director in Wilmington. "When employers fail to provide a safe and healthful workplace, they will be held accountable."
To view the citations, visit: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SeafordIceInc_1066299.pdf
Seaford Ice is an ice manufacturer and distributor, and its workers' compensation insurer is Amguard Insurance Co. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the 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 Wilmington Area Office at 302-573-6518.
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.
# # #
Release Number: 15-2273-PHI (osha 15-110)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).