Sept. 28, 2015
Woman has 2 fingers amputated while operating mechanical power press
for first time at Homerville, Georgia, manufacturing facility
Employer cited previously for machine guarding violations
HOMERVILLE, Ga. - A 33-year-old woman had two fingers amputated as she used a mechanical power press for the first time without proper training or safety guards at the Homerville facility, federal inspectors have determined.
Inspected by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration 27 times previously at its facilities in seven different states, Bway has received 54 citations for various violations, including operating unguarded machinery and not providing a workplace free of recognized hazards.
The most recent OSHA inspection found that the woman attempted to install a latch on a metal ammunition box when the amputation occurred. The agency cited Bway Corp. for four repeated, 15 serious and three other-than-serious safety violations on Sept. 28.
OSHA also cited SMX LLC, the staffing agency that employed the injured worker, for three serious and two other-than-serious safety violations. Proposed penalties for both companies total $217,720.
"A worker suffered a permanent, avoidable injury because two companies failed to provide a safe workplace. That is tragic," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's director of the Savannah Area Office.
OSHA issued serious citations to Bway and SMX for the employers' failure to train the press operator on safe work methods and to guard machinery properly. Bway also received citations for inadequate exit route lighting, exposing workers to falls, not inspecting equipment at required intervals and improperly storing oxygen and gas cylinders together.
The agency also issued repeated citations to Bway for failing to ensure proper machine guarding and for several electrical deficiencies. OSHA cited the company previously for similar violations in 2011, 2012 and 2014 at its facilities in Macon; Dayton, Ohio; New Jersey; and Bryan, Texas.
To view current citations, visit:
SMX has had four agency inspections since 2010 and previously received citations for not reporting a workplace injury and using an unsafe forklift.
Bway Corp., a metal and plastic container manufacturer, has headquarters in Atlanta and operates 26 facilities throughout North America. The company employs more than 4,000 workers. Seaton Corp., doing business as SMX LLC, has headquarters in Chicago. It employs more than 15,000 workers worldwide, with 88 employees at the Georgia facility.
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their 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 Savannah Area Office at 912-652-4393.
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: 15-1819-ATL (306)
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