Safety and OSHA News

Employee complaints lead to $182K in OSHA fines for amputation hazards

OSHA says this company violated some basic federal safety regulations. The federal agency got tipped off by company employees. 

An inspection found workers were exposed to amputation and other hazards at D&D Manufacturing Inc. in El Paso, TX. OSHA cited the company for 41 safety and health violations – 36 of them categorized as serious – with a total penalty of $181,800.

The 36 serious violations, with fines totaling $177,300, include failure to:

  • provide adequate machine guarding
  • properly inspect power presses
  • use proper procedures to de-energize equipment during maintenance, including punch presses
  • implement an effective hearing conservation program for noise levels above 85 decibels
  • provide proper maintenance on conductors with damaged insulation, and
  • protect workers from exposure to live electrical parts.

Five other-than-serious violations, with fines totaling $4,500, include failure to:

  • assess the need for personal protective equipment
  • educate workers on the voluntary use of respiratory protection
  • implement a written hazard communication program, and
  • certify training of forklift operators.

OSHA also issued a hazard letter to D&D addressing slip hazards and obstructions in aisles and walkways.

Pointing to D&D’s machine guarding and lockout violations, Joann Figueroa, OSHA’s area director in El Paso, said:

“Federal standards addressing these hazards have existed for decades. D&D’s failure to follow these safety and health requirements is unacceptable.”

Headquartered in Illinois, D&D fabricates stamped metal components for equipment manufacturers and employs about 37 workers in El Paso.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the citations and penalties to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA has a National Emphasis Program on amputations. The intent of the NEP is to target workplaces with machinery and equipment that cause amputations and workplaces where amputations have occurred. OSHA believes the failure to properly apply machine guarding techniques and the failure to adequately control associated energy hazards during servicing and maintenance activities are primary causes of amputations.

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