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OSHA Inspection Leads to $134K in Fines for OH Hose Manufacturer

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Bellefontaine, OH – OSHA inspectors found that HBD/Thermoid Inc., a rubber-hose manufacturer in Ohio, continues to put workers at risk of amputations and serious injuries by ignoring safety rules for industrial machines.

HBD/Thermoid was cited for one willful and 10 serious safety violations and faces $134,000 in proposed penalties as a result of the October 2104 inspection. The inspection was opened under OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. In May 2014, a worker was killed after being caught in an industrial machine at the company’s North Carolina location.

Kim Nelson, area director of OSHA’s Toledo office, shared the staggering data that “each year, more than 200,000 workers are injured by machines in the United States. Each day, an average of 12 workers are killed on-the-job. Employees and their families pay the painful price emotionally and economically when companies don’t follow standards to reduce injuries.”

The willful violation was cited for failing to protect workers from the operating parts of hose balers and hose feed equipment during the manufacturing process. Workers were also found to be in danger of amputation because machines were not shut down properly before repair and maintenance – a process known as Lockout/Tagout.

A total of 10 serious safety violations were issued. HBD/Thermoid machines were also found being operated without proper safety devices. Additionally, inspectors noted that work platforms and elevator shafts lacked adequate guardrails to protect workers from falls; electrical parts were not de-energized prior to performing work; and personal protective equipment to safeguard workers from electrical shock was not provided.

HBD/Thermoid employs about 1,000 workers corporatewide and manufactures hoses used in a variety of industries, such as transportation, food processing and agriculture.

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