OSHA cites packaging manufacturer and animal protein processor
American Recycling & Manufacturing Co. was cited for 18 alleged violations of workplace safety standards at its Rochester manufacturing plant.
JBS USA in Greeley was hit with 11 serious, one repeat and eight other-than-serious safety and health violations with proposed penalties totaling $83,414.
Amputation incident prompts inspection
American Recycling & Manufacturing Co. faces a total of $159,400 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Buffalo office prompted by a 3 December 2012 amputation incident.
An employee for the packaging manufacturer was cutting wood with a pop-up saw and lost his left hand when another employee accidentally stepped on the machine's operating foot pedal that was unguarded, unexpectedly activating the saw.
Two willful citations, with $88,000 in fines, were issued for the unguarded foot pedal and for failing to secure the saw to the floor.
Sixteen serious citations, with $71,400 in fines, involved failing to establish a hazardous energy control, or lockout/tagout program, and provide energy control equipment and training to workers; an exit door was welded shut; untrained powered industrial truck operators and inadequate guarding of moving machine parts.
"This is exactly the type of incident and injury that machine guarding is designed to prevent. Had the foot pedal been properly guarded, this injury would not have occurred," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo.
"Compounding this hazard is the fact that the employer was aware and did not correct it."
JBS USA cited after OSHA visit
The OSHA inspection at animal protein processor JBS USA in December 2012 fell under its Site Specific Targeting Program and focussed around safety and health criteria.
The serious violations associated with safety related to workers being exposed to potential fall hazards from elevated work areas, possible amputations due to the lack of proper machine guarding, not properly locking out equipment energy sources prior to performing maintenance work and failing to use safe work practices for electrical elements.
The serious violations associated with health focused on workers' high exposure to occupational noise, resulting in possible hearing loss, and the lack of training on the safe use of chemicals.
The repeat violation was cited for failing to properly guard machinery exposing workers to ingoing nip points and rotating parts, similar violations were cited at the same site in 2009.
The other-than-serious violations include an exposed electrical box, an unsafe ladder, defective emergency egress signs, improper use of electrical cords, lack of electrical personal protective equipment and worker exposure to high concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Herb Gibson, OSHA's area director in Denver, said employers must take the steps necessary to eliminate hazards from the workplace.
"Abating OSHA violations is a sign that an employer wants to keep its workers safe, but in this case, the employer allowed these hazards to reoccur and continued to expose workers to possible amputation hazards, among others.”
Both companies have 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before an independent commission.