October 23, 2019
U.S. Department of Labor Cites Alabama Newspaper Publisher
For Exposing Employees to Amputations after Injury
OPELIKA, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited BH Media Group Inc. for exposing employees to amputation hazards after an employee suffered an injury at the Opelika, Alabama, facility. The company faces $145,858 in penalties.
An employee suffered a finger amputation after their hand was caught in a stacking machine that unintentionally started while being serviced. OSHA cited the company for failing to effectively guard machinery, and develop and implement written procedures to prevent unintentional start-up during service or maintenance. The agency conducted the inspection in conjunction with the National Emphasis Program on Amputations.
“Employers’ failure to instruct workers on how to control hazardous energy when they are servicing machines can lead to this type of preventable injury,” said OSHA Mobile Area Director Jose A. Gonzalez. “Using proper lockout/tagout energy control procedures can protect workers from potential amputations.”
OSHA’s Machine Guarding eTool provides information on how to recognize and control common amputation hazards associated with operating certain types of machines.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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.
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 help 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 https://www.osha.gov.
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Release Number: 19-1788-ATL (372)
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).