Worker endures 3 surgeries after press crushes hand at seal manufacturer
Lauren Manufacturing ignored machine safety hazards, faces $105K in fines
NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio A hydraulic press crushed a 62-year-old machine operator's left hand at a seal and gasket manufacturer, resulting in multiple broken bones. The injured worker, a 15-year employee, has been unable to return to work and has endured three surgeries as a result.
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found in January that Lauren Manufacturing LLC ignored required machine safety guards that would have prevented the woman's hand from touching press operating parts.
OSHA issued one willful, four serious and one other-than-serious safety violations to the New Philadelphia rubber seal and gasket manufacturer on July 13. Proposed penalties total $105,000.
"This employee may never come back to work because Lauren Manufacturing ignored safety requirements that would have prevented this catastrophic injury, which affects her life and livelihood," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Each year, hundreds of workers are injured on-the-job because employers, like this one, fail to provide a safe work environment, as the law requires."
The agency cited the company for one willful violation for exposing workers to machinery operating parts. It issued four serious violations for failing to develop and train workers on steps for shutting down or isolating energy sources to machinery during maintenance and service, such as mold changes.
Lauren Manufacturing was also issued one other-than-serious violation for failing to notify OSHA of the injury. Under reporting requirements, companies must report any worker hospitalization within 24 hours.
To view current citations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/LaurenManufacturingLLC_1022119.pdf.
Based in New Philadelphia, Lauren International is the parent company for eight subsidiaries, including Lauren Manufacturing. The company employs about 275 workers at the New Philadelphia manufacturing plant and more than 440 corporatewide.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in the Columbus office, 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 Columbus office at 614-469-5582.
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.