U.S. Department of Labor | Dec. 9, 2015
OSHA fines Columbus, Ohio, wire manufacturer $131K after 2 workers
suffer amputations, company ignores machine safety procedures
Injuries follow April 2015 electrocution of worker exposed to live wires
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Two workers suffered partial amputation* of their left middle fingers in separate incidents at Columbus-based ITC Manufacturing because the company failed to protect them from machinery operating parts. The injuries occurred just months after the electrocution of another worker when he touched live wires at the company's facility.
For the second time in 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to ITC Manufacturing for violating federal workplace safety and health regulations. OSHA cited the company for 25 serious violations on Dec. 9 Proposed penalties total $131,000.
"It is unacceptable for a worker to be injured or killed on the job. When a fatality and two amputation injuries occur at a business within six months, safety is not a priority," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "ITC Manufacturing needs to address its numerous deficiencies at the facility immediately and resolve to make facility safety a priority."
OSHA inspections that resulted in the December citations found the following:
- On May 28, 2015, a machine operator suffered partial amputation of a left middle finger when it caught in the pinch point of a roll forming machine as he adjusted a cutting die. The machine should not have operated during adjustments. The 44-year-old employee had been employed at the plant for four months.
- On Sept. 14, 2015, a 31-year-old employee also suffered partial amputation of his left middle finger while operating a shear press used to cut wire. The operator's hands were exposed to operating parts because the machine lacked adequate safety guards.
In addition to amputation hazards, investigators found workers were exposed to the following:
- Falls due to lack of guardrails and open-sided floors.
- Hazards from improperly modified powered industrial vehicles.
- Electrical hazards.
- Noise above recommended exposure levels.
- Chemicals and other materials because of lack of eye and personal protective equipment.
- Respiratory hazards.
Previously, OSHA issued citations to ITC Manufacturing for five safety violations* on June 23, 2015, after investigating the electrocution of a 42-year-old worker on April 17, 2015. Employed for three months, the worker died after he touched a 480-volt live wire on a welding machine. The agency assessed $17,000 in fines.
ITC Manufacturing has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Columbus, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5300.
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: 15-2323-CHI
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