US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Knowlton Manufacturing in
Cincinnati after worker's arm is amputated by mechanical power press
Company placed in Severe Violator Enforcement Program
CINCINNATI – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Knowlton Manufacturing Co. Inc. in Cincinnati with 10 safety violations – including three willful and one repeat – after an employee's arm was amputated on Nov. 12, 2011, while the individual was performing maintenance on a mechanical power press that did not have its energy source properly secured.
The willful violations include operating power presses without point-of-operation guards, failing to isolate the energy sources of power presses and failing to affix locks to energy isolation devices prior to performing maintenance on mechanical power presses. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The repeat violation is failing to conduct periodic and regular inspections of the power presses. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited at the Cincinnati plant in July 2007.
Additionally, six serious violations involve failing to provide machine guarding on lathes and grinders, properly stamp dies with weight requirements, use safety blocks when making adjustments to dies in the presses and protect flexible cords from damage. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Due to the willful and repeat violations and the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed Knowlton Manufacturing in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information about the program, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.
"Knowlton Manufacturing has demonstrated a lack of commitment to worker safety by failing to ensure energy sources were isolated and locked out prior to allowing maintenance work on power presses," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
The specialty parts manufacturer had been inspected by OSHA on three previous occasions since 2001, and received citations for violations relating to electrical hazards, general machine and power transmission guarding, power press guarding and the lockout/tagout of energy sources.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/knowlton_107657_0406_12.pdf*.
Proposed penalties for the current citations total $111,000. Knowlton Manufacturing has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.