US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Stahl after 2 workers suffer
finger amputations by unguarded machines at Wooster plant
WOOSTER, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited truck manufacturer Stahl/Scott Fetzer Co. for six safety violations – including one willful – after a worker had several fingers amputated while operating an unguarded press break March 19 at the Wooster plant. After OSHA had initiated an inspection, a second amputation injury occurred April 19 at the plant.
"Manufacturing companies are responsible for knowing and following recognized standards regarding the use of potentially dangerous machinery in their factories and ensuring that all proper precautions are taken to prevent workers from being injured," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."
One willful violation involves failing to ensure that the points of operation are guarded on the two press brakes, which are used to bend sheet metal. Both workers were injured while using the unguarded press brakes. 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.
Five serious safety violations include failing to develop machine-specific "lockout/tagout" procedures as well as provide training for employees in the use of a portable fire extinguisher, the operation of powered industrial trucks and first aid. Additionally, the company failed to develop a bloodborne pathogen program, and conduct monthly and annual crane inspections. 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.
Proposed penalties total $90,000. Stahl/Scott Fetzer Co. is headquartered in Wooster, where 94 workers are employed. The company employs about 200,000 workers throughout the United States and Canada. The company has been inspected five times previously, resulting in the issuance of six serious and 43 other-than-serious violations.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet 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 216-615-4266.
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.
# # #
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.