Tiffin, OH – Numerous and repeat machine safety violations have been documented at the American Fine Sinter facility, triggering $82,462 in federal safety fines for the auto parts supplier.
OSHA inspectors found five major failures in machine safety protocol at American Fine Sinter Co. Ltd, most of which the firm had already been cited for three years ago.
Just as they had in 2014, OSHA investigators documented the lack of a Lockout/Tagout program at the facility – American Fine Sinter had not established proper written procedures for cutting off power to equipment that was being serviced. These lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
Approximately 3 million American workers service equipment at their jobs – these employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the federal lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. A study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW) found that 20% of the fatalities that occurred among their members were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures.
In addition to lockout failures, OSHA found repeated machine safety violations. Investigators revealed that safety blocks were not being used when employees changed dies on mechanical presses, proper guards were not in place on machinery being tested, and that the proper controls were not in place to ensure press modes could not be changed without the operator’s knowledge. Another issue was the finding that American Fine Sinter Co. did not perform regular inspections of it’s machinery.
Training was also found to be a problem at the American Fine Sinter facility. OSHA’s investigations found that employees had not been adequately trained to safely use a mechanical press.
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