Safety and OSHA News

3 amputations in 2 months: $484K in OSHA fines

This company corrected violations found in a previous OSHA inspection, but didn’t apply the fixes to other pieces of equipment. Now, three employees have suffered amputations, and the company’s wallet is a lot lighter. 

OSHA conducted three inspections last fall at Napoleon Spring Works Inc. in Archbold, OH, and fined the company $484,007 for two willful, nine repeat and 10 serious violations.

The first inspection was a follow-up to a 2013 case; the second and third were in response to incidents at the facility.

Among the violations Napoleon was cited for:

  • Live parts an employee was exposed to weren’t de-energized before the employee worked on or near them
  • Insulated fuse-handling equipment wasn’t used to remove or install fuses when terminals were energized
  • Employees working in areas where there were potential electrical hazards weren’t provided with appropriate protective gear
  • An evaluation of each powered industrial truck operator’s performance wasn’t conducted at least once every three years
  • Machine guarding wasn’t provided for hazards such as those created by point of operation, in-going nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks
  • Hand controls used with mechanical power presses weren’t fixed in position so that only a supervisor or safety engineer was capable of relocating the controls
  • Not ensuring a control system with brake monitor was used when employees used a hands-in-die operation to load and unload parts in one mechanical power press
  • Lockout/tagout devices didn’t indicate the employee who applied them
  • No annual inspection was performed of energy control procedures
  • Adequate training wasn’t provided about the safe application, usage and removal of energy control devices
  • The established procedures for energy control (lockout/tagout) didn’t cover everything required in OSHA’s regulation
  • Each authorized employee didn’t affix a personal lockout/tagout device to the group lockout device before working on equipment
  • A program of periodic and regular inspections of mechanical power presses wasn’t established, and
  • Original and continuing competence of personnel maintaining mechanical power presses wasn’t ensured.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to accept them and pay the fines, enter into talks with OSHA, or contest them to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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