Feb. 11, 2015
Gateway Extrusions again exposes workers to amputation, other hazards
OSHA proposes fines of $63K for 1 repeated, 8 serious violations
UNION, Mo. – Workers were exposed to amputation* and other serious hazards while operating presses at Gateway Extrusions' aluminum parts manufacturing facility, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. OSHA cited one repeated and eight serious safety and health violations at the Union facility, with proposed penalties of $63,000.
"Lack of worker protections at this facility exposed workers to serious and life-altering injuries," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "Gateway Extrusions has a responsibility to protect workers from known hazards at its jobsite, and the number of violations there demonstrates a lack of commitment to that obligation."
An OSHA inspection in October 2014 found that two operating machines, including a sander and multipurpose press in the fabrication area, lacked proper safety mechanisms, which exposed workers to amputation and other serious hazards. The company was cited for a similar violation at this facility in 2013.
OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states in the last five years.
Workers also were exposed to unguarded platforms and floor openings, electrical hazards and unsecured shelving and storage units. Gateway Extrusions also failed to store gas cylinders properly, did not implement lockout/tagout* procedures and inadequately guarded the point-of-operation of some operating machines, such as press brakes.
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.
Gateway Extrusions Ltd. manufactures custom aluminum extrusions and finishes and 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 agency's St. Louis Area Office at 314-425-4249.
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.
# # #
Release Number: 15-43-KAN
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.