Ohio worker's hand crushed while operating mechanical power press; US Department of Labor's OSHA proposes $89,500 in penalties
VALLEY CITY, Ohio Following the crushing of a worker's hand in a 150-ton mechanical power press on Nov. 14, 2013, Superior Roll Forming Co. has been cited for four serious safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA's complaint investigation at the company's Valley City facility found two repeat violations of machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures, two of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. OSHA proposes $89,500 in penalties for failing to protect workers from lacerations, caught-in and amputation hazards.
"Superior Roll Forming continuously fails to protect workers operating power presses. This is completely inexcusable," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "Safety precautions are vital when operating power presses because injuries involving this machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability, as it tragically did in this incident."
The repeat violations involved the plant's power presses, which assemble metal or other materials for the automotive and other industries. The injured worker was removing a metal piece from the power press and was exposed to the point of operation of the power press because necessary safeguards had been disabled and the company had failed to install barrier guards. The company also failed to use lockout/tagout procedures to prevent operation of the power press while the worker was removing the part.
Superior Roll Forming was previously cited for machine guarding and lockout/tagout violations on its power presses in 2013. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Two serious violations also involved safe operation of mechanical power presses, including inadequate clutch brake controls and failing to conduct periodic inspections of lockout/tagout procedures. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
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 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 Cleveland office at 216-447-4194. 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.