May 12, 2015
Auto parts manufacturer ignores safety rules for machines,
puts workers at risk of amputation and being hit by equipment
USA Technologies faces more than $114K in fines after OSHA finds 10 violations
PEORIA, Ill. – Workers stamping metal automotive parts at a Peoria manufacturer were at risk of lacerations and amputations and in danger of being struck-by robotic welding equipment because their employer ignored machine safety rules.
Acting on a complaint, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors identified two willful and eight serious safety and health violations at USA Technologies Inc. in November 2014. The company faces $114,100 in proposed penalties.
"Employees pay the painful price when companies don't follow standards. Each year about 3 million workers in America are injured on-the-job. That is unacceptable," said Thomas Bielema, area director of OSHA's Peoria Area Office. "With common-sense safety procedures, including installing safety guards on large industrial machines and training workers in safety procedures, USA Technologies can protect workers from injuries that may keep them from earning a living."
Workers were exposed to amputation hazards* from a robotic welding machine that was unguarded. Employees were also found to be in danger of amputation because power presses were not shut down properly before repair and maintenance tasks, such as die-setting. The machines were also operated without proper safety devices.
Inspectors noted that USA Technologies did not evaluate personal protective equipment, provide hand protection for thermal hazards or label hazardous chemical containers. Numerous electrical safety violations were also found.
The company 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 Peoria Area Office at 309-589-7033.
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: 15-848-CHI
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