US Labor Department's OSHA cites T & D Metal Products in Watseka, Ill.,
with 4 safety violations after 2 workers suffer amputations
WATSEKA, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited T & D Metal Products LLC with four safety, including three willful, violations, after two workers suffered amputation injuries at the company's Watseka metal stamping facility. The incidents occurred on two separate press brakes, on Jan. 10 and Jan. 18.
"T & D Metal Products failed to ensure machine guarding and safety procedures were in place to protect employees, even after a worker was injured. This negligence contributed to a second worker being injured on the same type of equipment eight days later," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Employers have a responsibility for following established safety practices to ensure equipment has safety guards and workers are provided with adequate training."
The willful violations include failing to lock out/tag out hazardous energy sources prior to performing maintenance operations and to have point-of-operation guarding on the press brakes on both Jan. 10 and Jan. 18. 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.
One serious safety violation was cited for failing to use safety blocks when dies were being adjusted and repaired. 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 for the citations total $214,830.
Prior to the January inspection, the company had been cited by OSHA for 47 violations since 1988.
OSHA has placed T & D Metal Products in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in June 2010, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. T & D Metal Products LLC was placed in the program due to the company's previous OSHA violations and the egregious violations cited in the January incidents. A violation is deemed egregious when a company is cited for instance-by-instance violations of the same standard, such as failing to provide machine guarding protection. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/svep-directive.pdf.*
T & D Metal Products 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Peoria Area Office at 309-589-7033. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.
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.