A November, 2015 accident at a corrugated cardboard manufacturer in Arcadia, WI has resulted in a 23 year-old worker losing three finger tips, and now, an $118,000 OSHA fine for the employer, courtesy of Federal OSHA in Wisconsin.
An investigation by Federal OSHA deemed the accident preventable, and blamed the company for failing to train workers in proper safety procedures that may have prevented the chopping blade from operating while the employee was clearing a jam. Consequently, Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the employer, Industrial Packaging Corporation for one willful and eight serious safety violations and $118,000 in proposed penalties. You can view the citations here.
“Training workers and using blocking and locking devices, as required by OSHA standards, would have prevented this young man’s hands from coming in contact with the operating parts of the machine,” said Mark Hysell, OSHA’s area director in Eau Claire. “Workers should never reach inside the danger zone of a machine without de-energizing it and using lockout/tag out procedures to prevent a sudden startup.”
The company was also cited for:
- Failing to train workers on the use of cut resistant gloves.
- Failing to ensure that the chopper and notcher blades were in safe positions during set-up and maintenance.
- Failing to review energy control procedures with employees at least annually.
- Failing to properly guard blades, sprocket wheels and chains and horizontal shafts.
OSHA was notified of the accident as a result of new reporting regulations in Wisconsin, which took effect Jan. 1, 2015. OSHA now requires all employers to report any severe work-related injury – defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye – within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force. In the first full year of the program, Wisconsin employers reported 157 amputations. Amputation hazards remain among the most frequently cited OSHA violations.
Lockout/Tagout incidents continue to be one of the most severe and frequent type of incidents. Please contact Sotera Consulting to ensure that your Lockout/Tagout procedures, programs, training, and reviews are enough to comply!