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News Brief

Workplace amputation at a Georgia furniture manufacturer prompts OSHA investigation that uncovers amputation, other safety hazards

Agency proposes more than $58K in penalties

Employer name: Tritter Feefer Home Collection LLC

Investigation site: 200 East Lukken Industrial Drive, LaGrange, Georgia 30240

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the employer on May 10 for one willful and four serious safety violations.

Investigation findings: OSHA began an investigation after learning a Tritter employee suffered a workplace injury that required hospitalization. On Dec. 14, 2015, the 26-year-old furniture builder was using a table saw to cut wood strips when his right hand made contact with the saw blade. The tip of the worker’s middle finger was amputated and he suffered deep cuts to his index finger and thumb. Inspectors discovered that the safety guards on the saw had been removed. OSHA has established a National Emphasis Program on Amputations to identify and reduce workplace amputation hazards.  

The agency cited Tritter for willfully exposing workers to an unguarded saw blade.

The serious citations relate to the employer’s failure to ensure drill presses were properly guarded and secured to the floor. Additionally the employer exposed workers to electric shock and fire hazards from improper wiring and unsafe installation.

Quote: “This horrific and totally preventable injury is a stark reminder of the dangers of disregarding OSHA standards,” said Christi Griffin, OSHA’s director of the Atlanta-West Office. “Aside from the saw that injured the worker, we found other unguarded machines and hazards that Tritter must address immediately, before another incident happens.”

Proposed penalties: $58,520

The citations can be viewed at:

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/legacy-files/newsroom/newsreleases/OSHA20160896.pdf

Tritter Feefer manufactures wooden household furniture. With nearly 50 workers in LaGrange, the company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Agency
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Date
May 12, 2016
Release Number
16-0896-ATL
Contact: Lindsay Williams
Phone Number
Contact: Michael D'Aquino