Ohio auto insulation manufacturer faces penalties following worker injury
OREGON, Ohio – An auto insulation manufacturer in suburban Toledo faces $569,463 in proposed penalties after a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation following a report that a machine amputated a 46-year-old worker’s right hand, wrist and part of his forearm.
Investigators found the injury occurred while the worker at Autoneum North America was guiding waste materials into a shredding machine. His arm was caught in the machine’s point of operation– a circular drum that shreds the fabric fibers for reuse. OSHA found the company failed to equip the machine with adequate safety guards when the Dec. 23, 2016, injury occurred. The agency issued three willful and two repeated violations of machine safety procedures.
“This incident illustrates why companies must evaluate machine safety procedures to ensure they are adequate and effective in protecting workers from injuries on the job,” said Dorothy Dougherty, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “In addition to being the law and the right thing to do, safe workplaces are an important component in supporting and sustaining job growth in America.”
OSHA cited the company for:
- Inadequate machine and point of operation guarding.
- Failing to properly train workers on machine specific procedures for isolating energy sources.
- Lack of proper “locking out” equipment to prevent unintentional energization.
- Exposing workers to struck-by hazards from machine components.
In February 2016, OSHA cited the company for similar machine hazards at its Wynn Road facility in Oregon.
View current citations here.
Autoneum North America is based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and is a parts supplier for the automotive industry. The company is a subsidiary of Swiss-based Autoneum, a global market and technology leader in acoustic and thermal management solutions for vehicles.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal 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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.
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.