March 29, 2016
Workplace amputation prompts OSHA investigation that uncovers
16 safety hazards at Jacksonville wire manufacturer
Agency proposes more than $40K in penalties
Employer name: Eastern Wire Products Inc.
Investigation site: 5301 West Fifth St., Jacksonville, Florida 32254
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer on March 28 for one repeated, 13 serious and two other-than-serious safety violations.
Investigation findings: OSHA began an investigation after learning an Eastern Wire employee suffered a workplace injury that required hospitalization. On Jan. 5, 2016, the 37-year-old machine operator was attempting to remove a piece of jammed wire when the machine caught his finger. The tip of the worker's right index finger was amputated. OSHA has established a National Emphasis Program on Amputations to identify and reduce workplace amputation hazards.
The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to develop procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing, and not ensuring proper stacking of 55-gallon drums to prevent them from falling on workers. Eastern Wire also exposed workers to electrical hazards from unprotected circuits and wiring. Other violations include not labeling hazardous chemicals.
Quote: "Our inspection found numerous machine guarding and electrical hazards that expose workers to serious injury or death," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in the Jacksonville Office. "Eastern Wire cannot wait for another incident to happen or an OSHA inspection, to address the safety hazards that exist at this facility."
Proposed penalties: $41,504
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/documents/newsroom/releases/OSHA20160602.pdf
Eastern Wire manufactures wire products and distributes them nationwide. With approximately 40 workers in Jacksonville, 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 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 Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.
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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Release Number: 16-602-ATL (78)
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