Mobile, AL – OSHA has issued fines of over $75,000 to an Alabama packaging manufacturer for failing to protect employees from the hazards of moving parts. Ampac Mobile Holdings LLC (operating as ProAmpac) was found to have been exposing employees to caught-in and struck-by hazards at their Mobile (AL) facility. Federal workplace safety investigators are charging $75,156 in penalties for inadequate machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures violations.
OSHA was alerted to the Ampac/ProAmpac facility after an employee suffered a severe hand injury as a result of getting caught in a piece of equipment. In a separate accident, an Ampac employee’s finger was lacerated when struck by moving machine parts.
In the course of their investigation, OSHA determined that Ampac failed to use proper machine guarding measures, and failed to control hazardous energy by implementing effective lockout/tagout procedures.
Unfortunately, these two accidents could have been prevented. As OSHA’s Acting Mobile Area Office Director stated, “A comprehensive safety and health program, includ[ing] an evaluation and correction for amputation hazards, could have identified and prevented these injuries.”
An estimated 3 million American workers service equipment in the course of their jobs. These employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not effectively implemented. Compliance with the federal lockout/tagout standard prevents approximately 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Additionally, it has been estimated that workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.
Hatfield, PA – OSHA has cited Prime Packaging Partners for exposing employees to 19 different safety and health hazards at its Hatfield (PA) dog treat manufacturing facility following an industrial accident in which an employee suffered amputation due to an unguarded saw blade.
The proposed fines for these 19 violations of federal workplace safety standards total $180,685.
OSHA conducted an inspection of the Hatfield (PA) facility following a complaint that an employee suffered an amputation from unguarded saw blades.
According to OSHA, “moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled.”
During a professional machine safety inspection, each individual machine is registered; and defects are detected and documented. Most importantly, safety hazards are discussed with the staff involved to raise awareness and gain buy-in on the suggested solution.
Following inspection, Martin Technical prepares a report outlining the various deficiencies including photo documentation and a description of necessary changes. Often, this report becomes a cornerstone document for the staff tasked with implementing the safety solutions.
Middletown, OH – A severe arm injury at an Ohio cardboard packaging materials company has resulted in proposed penalties of $96,741. OSHA has issued citations against Honey Cell Inc. Midwest for one repeated and three serious safety violations, including lockout/tagout failures.
Penalties issued stem from the investigation of a workplace accident in August when a 34-year-old temporary worker suffer a severe compression injury to her right arm. OSHA found the temporary worker had her hand and arm caught between an idler roll and the belt on a compression deck as she removed cardboard scrap with a utility knife.
The Honey Cell plant was found lacking in Lockout/Tagout procedures, also known as energy control procedures. OSHA found that energy control procedures were not being followed at the Honey Cell plant and that employees were not trained on energy sources or methods for energy isolation and control. OSHA also found that workers were not kept clear of rotating parts during removal of cardboard scrap. Honey Cell had been fined by OSHA cited for similar violations of energy-control procedures in 2013.
Lockout / Tagout procedures need to be machine-specific and include the isolation of any prime movers, machinery and equipment from mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, thermal or other energy sources.
Additionally, OSHA requires that employees be trained on lockout policies and procedures. Training ensures that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees.
Approximately 3 million US workers service equipment and face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.
Having equipment specific lockout procedures written for each piece of equipment is required by OSHA, and can seem like the most difficult part of implementing a Lockout/Tagout program. Lockout procedures provide detailed instructions on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment. These procedures help to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Martin Technical’s Rapid LOTO lockout procedure development program is designed to provide high quality procedures that are easy for your employees to follow.