U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Vinyl Flooring Manufacturer For Machine Hazards Following Worker Amputation
FOSTORIA, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nox U.S. LLC for exposing employees to machine hazards and failing to develop hazardous energy control procedures to prevent employees from coming into contact with moving machine parts. OSHA has proposed $316,929 in penalties, and placed the Fostoria, Ohio, vinyl floor manufacturer in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
An employee suffered amputation of the lower right arm and four fingers after becoming caught in a lamination machine. OSHA cited the company for lack of adequate machine guarding on rotating parts and shafts. They also cited Nox U.S. LLC for failing to develop specific procedures for unjamming flooring material from machines on the lamination line; train workers on hazardous energy control procedures; and provide adequate personal protective equipment.
In December 2017, OSHA cited the company for similar hazards after two workers suffered injuries in separate incidents involving lack of machine safety procedures.
“Employers must continuously monitor their facilities to ensure that workplace safety and health procedures are adequate and effective, and employees are trained on the use of such procedures,” said OSHA Toledo Area Office Director Kim Nelson. “When machines are not properly guarded, employees face an increased risk of serious injuries.”
“Machines that expose workers to injuries must be guarded,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Employers are required by law to provide workers with a workplace free of recognized hazards.”
OSHA’s Machine Guarding webpage provides information on requirements for protecting workers from machine hazards that can cause amputations, crushed fingers or hands, and other injuries.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.
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 help 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 https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.