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.
Oregon, OH – Proper machine guarding and employee training could have prevented an amputation at the Autoneum North America plant just across the river from Toledo, OH. The auto parts maker is being fined $570,000 after a worker lost his right hand and part of his arm in an industrial accident.
Federal investigators report that a 46-year-old man was feeding scrap material into an unguarded shredding machine in December when he was hurt. OSHA says the accident was preventable and therefore cited the Autoneum plant for three of its highest safety violations. Federal officials cited the company for lacking proper protective guards and failing to train workers on proper operating procedures.
Autoneum North America makes automotive insulation at the factory in Oregon, OH
DAYTON, Ohio – Fuyao Glass America, the world’s largest auto glass manufacturer, has been fined $226,937 in 2016 by the Department of Labor and OSHA.
The Department of Labor states workers began making complaints of unsafe working conditions soon after the plant opened in October 2015 which lead to eight separate federal investigations.
Several violations were found in these inspections including machine safety problems that “expose workers to amputation and other serious injuries, as well as a lack of personal protective equipment, electrical hazards, failing to train workers about hazardous chemicals in use and unmarked exits.”
The Department of Labor says Fuyao has opposed all the OSHA violations issued this year.
Fuyao Glass America has been investigated eight times this year according to Department of Labor records, and found to have 24 safety violations. More details about these complaints and fines can be found on the Department of Labor website.
Fuyao Glass America was contacted about the Department of Labor release and responded with:
“Fuyao remains committed to total employee health and safety. Since beginning operations, Fuyao has spent over three million dollars on protective equipment, training, machine guarding, and other safety equipment.” Fuyao confirmed they challenged the citations and proposed fines, they also said they, “look forward to continuing to work with OSHA as well as on other safety initiatives in our facility.”
Fuyao said they believe the most recent citations describe conditions that do not violate OSHA standards, and plan to “continue aggressively moving forward with our corrective actions as we have since starting operations.”
Center, TX – OSHA has issued fines of more than $263,000 to Tyson Foods after an unguarded conveyor belt in Tyson’s Center (TX) facility caught a worker’s finger and dragged his hand into a deboning machine. The employee’s finger was amputated by the machine when he was trying to remove chicken parts jammed in its conveyor belt.
In their investigation, OSHA found 15 serious workplace safety violations and two repeated violations at the Center plant of the nation’s largest poultry processor, Tyson Foods. Violations found included amputation hazards, worker exposure to high levels of gases and acids, lack of employee PPE, and no safety guards on machine parts and catwalks.
Niagara, WI – Wood Fibers Inc. has been placed on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program after consistently failing to comply with safety and health standards. OSHA has issued one willful, four repeat, and three serious safety and health violations based on an October 2015 inspection with proposed penalties totaling $152,460. Failure to implement OSHA’s past recommendations has put employees of the Wisconsin wood pellet manufacturer in danger of amputation, burns, and other life-threatening workplace injuries.
OSHA found employees operated machines without effective safeguards from moving parts, and combustible dust hazards in processing equipment and associated dust collection equipment. OSHA also cited a lack of training on procedures to prevent unintentional machine operation during service and maintenance and electrical safety violations, known as lockout/tagout training and procedures..
Salina, KS – OSHA has announced $172,000 in fines against Schwan’s Global Supply Chain, citing it for three repeated safety violations and four serious violations for accidents due to unguarded machinery at the company’s frozen pizza plant in Salina, KS.
In three separate accidents in 2015, one female Schwan’s worker lost a hand; another lost a finger; and a third suffered fractures and burns to one hand. All three workplace injuries occured within three months of each other.
The OSHA investigation concluded that Schwan’s had exposed its Salina workers to amputation and other serious hazards through unguarded equipment on the production line. In their statement, OSHA said “three women’s lives were dramatically altered because their employer failed to protect them from hazardous operating machinery parts.”
In August 2015, a 55-year-old worker was picking up pizza crumbs when her glove was caught in an unguarded conveyor chain and sprocket-drive assembly. Her right hand had to be amputated after the accident.
In September, a 39-year-old worker’s left hand was lacerated and fractured after she reached into a conveyor area to clear a pizza pan jam. Her her palm burned as well.
In October, a 55-year-old employee inadvertently put her hand into an unguarded chain and sprocket, amputating the middle finger of her left hand.
The Salina Schwan’s facility makes frozen pizzas under the Tony’s and Red Baron brands.
Corinth, MS – Mississippi Polymers has been cited for 11 “serious” safety violations, totaling $56,0000, for machine safety and lockout/tagout violations that resulted in severe injury and amputation for two Mississippi Polymers employees in the fall of 2015.
In both accidents OSHA investigated, workers were injured while attempting to clean machinery: On Sept. 28, a 41-year-old print tender suffered severe injury when his hand got entangled in a print roller and was crushed. Six days later on Oct. 4, a 59-year-old mill operator caught her hand in a print roller. The machine crushed her pinky finger so badly that a portion of the finger, up to the first joint, had to be amputated.
OSHA cited Mississippi Polymers for exposing workers to unguarded rollers, shafts, and gears; and failing to train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance (processes known as lockout/tagout). As noted by OSHA officials, “protective guarding was available and could have prevented such incidents.”
The employer of more than 160 workers in Corinth, Mississippi Polymers manufactures functional and decorative films used in many products such as banners and billboards.
Austin, TX – Austin-based nutritional supplement maker Genesis Today Inc., faces potential fines of $56,000 for not having the proper safeguards in place to protect workers from getting body parts caught in a machine. Additionally, Texas Management Division Inc., which provided Genesis Today with temporary workers, could also face a $7,000 penalty for not ensuring that moving machine parts were properly guarded to prevent serious injuries.
OSHA announced the proposed penalties and citations on Nov. 9 following an inspection initiated in May after an incident that resulted in a worker’s hand being caught in a machine and amputated. OSHA representatives were careful to say that temporary workers face the same hazards as full-time workers and must be protected and properly trained, and that the “host employer and the staffing agency are both responsible for keeping their workers safe.”
The incident at Genesis occurred when the worker fainted and fell into a machine that shells chia seeds. His hand became caught in a corkscrew apparatus at the bottom of the machine that moves the shelled seeds further down the production line. There should have been a guard on the machine to prevent anything from falling in.