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Region 5 News Release: 12-470-CHI
March 20, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:            312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Kishwaukee Forge Co. after
worker suffers amputation at Cortland, Ill., manufacturing site

CORTLAND, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Kishwaukee Forge Co. in Courtland with eight safety violations – including two willful – after a worker's thumb was amputated on Sept. 22 when a forging machine foot pedal, which was not adequately guarded, operated unintentionally.

"Kishwaukee Forge has the responsibility of ensuring that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as unguarded machinery," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in North Aurora. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

The willful violations involve failing to schedule and record inspections of guards and point-of-operation protection devices at frequent and regular intervals for forging machines, and to protect the foot-operated devices of forging machines from unintended operation. 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 violations involve failing to establish periodic and regular maintenance safety checks for forging machines, train workers in the proper maintenance and inspection of forging machinery and equipment, and provide scale guards of sufficient size or dimension at the backs of forging hammers and presses to hold them in place. 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.

One other-than-serious violation is failing to properly fill out an OSHA 301 form detailing a workplace injury. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

OSHA has proposed $75,200 in penalties for the violations.

Kishwaukee Forge specializes in manufacturing steel, alloy and stainless forgings. The company 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 North Aurora Area Office at 630-896-8700.

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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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.


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