April 13, 2015
Worker loses fingertip on machine that lacked adequate safety controls
OSHA finds Wodin Inc. had 23 serious violations, proposes penalties of $80,500
BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio – On just his second day on the job, a 28-year-old man working on a machine to forge parts lost a fingertip in a November 2014 incident that investigators say could have been prevented if his employer had trained the man to properly operate the upsetter machine and the machine had proper safety mechanisms. The man was unable to work for two weeks after the injury.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection determined that Wodin Inc., a Bedford Heights iron and steel forging company, failed to train the worker in how to safely operate the machine, which also lacked adequate safety mechanisms. As a result of its investigation of the Nov. 5, 2014 incident in which the man suffered the loss of the tip of his left ring finger, the agency cited 23 serious safety violations and has proposed penalties of $80,500.
"Allowing a worker to operate dangerous machinery without providing training is unacceptable. Wodin failed to follow basic safety precautions and train workers in safe operation of dangerous industrial machinery," said Brigitte Frank, OSHA's acting area director in Cleveland.
Each year, more than 200,000 American workers suffer cuts, lacerations and amputations from operating parts of dangerous machinery. Investigators often find various upsetters, power press brakes and forging machines used in the plant lack adequate safety mechanisms. Machine hazards continue to be among the most frequently cited by OSHA.
Wodin also failed to train workers in the use of energy control procedures, such as powering off and affixing locking devices, to prevent unintentional operation of the machinery exposing workers to dangerous amputation hazards. The agency determined that Wodin also failed to provide adequate hand tools when forging hot parts, inspect cranes and guard floor hole openings to prevent trips and falls. Inspectors also noted that damaged powered industrial trucks were not removed from service. The company also failed to train workers on hazardous chemicals and properly label chemical containers.
In total 23 serious citations were issued. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
Wodin Inc. 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 Cleveland Area Office at 216-447-4194.
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: 15-473-CHI
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