May 10, 2016
Lima wood pallet recycling facility exposes workers to
hearing loss, electrical and amputation hazards
Employer name: Wright Pallet Inc., Lima, Ohio
Citations issued: May 2, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues 12 serious safety violations to Wright Pallet Inc. Inspectors from OSHA's Toledo office opened an inspection under the Local Emphasis Program for pallet manufacturing. The agency found Wright Pallet's workers exposed to multiple hazards including hearing loss and amputation hazards.
During its investigation, the agency found the company:
- Allowed workers to wear hearing protection improperly.
- Failed to train workers in hearing conservation and electrical safety related work practices.
- Allowed machines to operate without safety guards.
- Lacked adequate lockout/tag out procedures to prevent unintentional machine starts during service and maintenance such as clearing jams, and adjusting operating parts.
- Lacked electrical safe work practices, including not providing personal protective equipment.
- Allowed forklift drivers to handle unstable loads and operate with a limited view of travel.
- Improperly stored compressed gas cylinders.
Quote: "Each year, thousands of workers suffer occupational hearing loss which can be permanent and debilitating," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Hearing loss is preventable with proper hearing protection, training and annual audiogram testing to monitor the effects of occupational exposure. Employers like Wright Pallet have a responsibility to implement training and safety procedures that protect workers on the job."
Proposed Penalties: $51,590
View Citations here.
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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.
# # #
Release Number: 16-887-CHI
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).