Region 5 News Release: 10-983-CHI
July 15, 2010
Contact: Scott Allen
US Labor Department's OSHA fines Rexnord Industries LLC $130,500
in penalties after worker's arm was amputated by machinery
Company has had more than 340 violations
MILWAUKEE - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Rexnord Industries LLC with $130,500 in proposed penalties for violating federal workplace safety standards after a mechanical power press operator, removing parts from a parts dumper, had her arm amputated when the machine unexpectedly began to operate.
As a result of a January 2010 inspection, OSHA has issued Rexnord one willful, six serious and one repeat citation. The willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $70,000, is for failing to provide proper guarding on the mechanical power presses to prevent an amputation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Some of the six serious citations, with proposed penalties of $25,500, include failing to provide proper machine guarding and to conduct regular, periodic and weekly inspections of mechanical power presses and electrical hazards. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
The company also received a $35,000 proposed fine for a repeat violation because it failed to provide proper protection to its employees working on metal cutting band saws and lathes. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously was cited for the same or similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facilities in federal enforcement states within the last three years.
"There is no excuse for a company to disregard the safety and welfare of its workers by not following OSHA safety standards," said OSHA Area Director George Yoksas in Milwaukee. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."
The company, which manufactures transmissions and conveying equipment, employs more than 5,300 workers at 22 facilities in the United States.
Rexnord 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 report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
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 assure 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 releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.